Fairbanks, Alaska — The Arctic Winter Games International Committee announced Monday the appointment of John Estle to its board.
“The committee is very pleased to confirm the appointment of Mr. John Estle of Fairbanks, Alaska to fill the Northern Alaska Director’s position on the AWGIC,” John Rodda, vice-president of the committee, said in a press release.
“Mr. Estle brings a wealth of Arctic Winter Games experience and knowledge to our team.”
Estle grew up and lived in New England for 30 years before moving to Fairbanks in 1982 to assume the position of head coach for cross country skiing and cross-country running at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
He held that position from 1982 through 1990 before taking the position of head coach of the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, which he held from 1990-1993. He served as program director for the U.S. Olympic Education Center in Marquette, Michigan in 1993-94.
Returning to Fairbanks in 1994, he has built a business providing sport and business services, including organizing events, timing running races, coaching and bookkeeping.
Estle is an International Ski Federation-certified technical delegate and homologation inspector for cross country skiing.
He has attended the 1984, 1992 and 2002 Olympic Games as a coach or official but considers the Arctic Winter Games to be a more meaningful event because of the effect the AWG can have on the people and communities of the North – without all the hype involved in the Olympics.
Estle’s association with the Games extends more than 30 years.
He was a sport coordinator for Team Alaska for the 1988 Games, was Team Alaska chef de mission in 1996 and from 2000-2010, and served on the Host Society Board of Directors for the 2014 Games in Fairbanks.
Estle and his wife Norma live 500 metres from the Birch Hill cross country ski trails and spend as much time as possible at their cabin in the Alaska Range.
Estle replaces Jeff Jacobson, who stepped down as a committee member from Alaska in 2018.
Whitehorse is hosting the 2020 Arctic Winter Games being held from March 15 to March 21.
The Arctic Winter Games is the largest and most significant multisport cultural event in the Circumpolar North.
The Games combine athletic competition in sports that enjoy worldwide popularity alongside exciting northern traditional events. Its cultural program features performers from all nine contingents and social development opportunities for the 2,000 participants.