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John Flynn

Lifelong Dawsonite chosen to head international AWG committee

The presidency of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee has returned to the Yukon after four years.

By Chuck Tobin on June 12, 2018

The presidency of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee has returned to the Yukon after four years.

The international committee announced Monday that John Flynn of Dawson City was elected last week as the new president.

The election occurred in Dawson where the committee was holding its annual spring meeting.

The committee also met in Whitehorse last week with the Whitehorse committee hosting the 2020 Games, operations coordinator Doris Landry of the international committee explained in an interview this morning.

“Mr. Flynn’s commitment to the North and the Arctic Winter Games is very clear and I am certain that the Arctic Winter Games and the International Committee are in good hands,” retiring president Jens Brinch of Greenland said in Monday’s press release.

Flynn was born and raised in Dawson City. He has participated in seven Arctic Winter Games as an athlete and coach, beginning with the 1974 Games held in Anchorage, Alaska. He has been active in Dawson City and Yukon as a sport volunteer for over 30 years and was inducted into the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Flynn manages a successful mining business and is a member of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.

“I believe strongly in the mandate of the Arctic Winter Games and the opportunities it provides to our northern youth through participation in regional trials and at the Games themselves,” Flynn said in the release.

“I look forward to working cooperatively with the directors, chefs de Mission, the participating governments and others in our efforts to support and grow the Games as they continue to unite our circumpolar family.”

Flynn was nominated by Karen Thomson of Whitehorse who serves as a director on the international committee. The nomination was seconded by Ian Legaree of the Northwest Territories.

The retiring Greenland president was elected in 2014, taking over from Gerry Thick of Whitehorse.

Thick served on the international committee for 30 years, including 20 years as president from 1994 until his retirement. Thick was inducted in the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 in the builder category.

Brinch became the director for the Greenland Sport Confederation in 1997 and was instrumental in increasing Greenland’s participation in the Arctic Winter Games.

He has served on the AWG International Committee since 1998 and before his election as president, was the director responsible for International Affairs.

“I have enjoyed my time with the Arctic Winter Games International Committee in the various roles I have held,” he said in his statement.

The committee’s operations coordinator said Brinch will remain involved in a consulting role as director of international affairs.

The Arctic Winter Games is a high profile circumpolar sport competition, celebrating its 50-year anniversary at the 2020 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse.

The Games celebrate sport, social exchange and culture, and includes participation from Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Northern Alberta, Nunavut, Greenland, Nunavik, Que., Yamal, Russia and Sapmi.

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