Inuvik wrestler at home in Whitehorse

Tristan Peter says visit to Arctic Winter Games host city a win regardless
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Inuvik's Tristan Peter lived in Whitehorse for a year before returning to the NWT. He said the fact the games were being hosted in the Yukon capital was a big motivator for him to tryout for the first time.

For Inuvik wrestler Tristan Peter, the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse is a bit of a homecoming.

Although born and raised in the NWT, Peter lived in the Yukon capital for a year before moving back to Inuvik. Returning to Whitehorse was a big motivator for him to tryout for the 2012 wrestling team.

“I never had a chance to come back so I just wanted to come back and visit my family and whatnot,” he said. Peter added that being back in the city is a great chance to reconnect with some of his old friends away from the competition.

Competing in the 52-kilogram weight class, Peter, who has been wrestling for about five years, said the games have been a lot of fun and the experience trumps whether he wins or loses.

“It's good enough just to watch the people wrestle and to be a part of the games,” he said. “I just want to have fun and enjoy the week.”

Wednesday was a full competition day for individual Team NWT wrestlers after the team event on Monday in which the territory's wrestlers finished fourth out of five teams.

Peter faced competitors from Alaska, Nunavut and Alberta North, taking a point off Nunavut's Sandy Jr Saviakjuk, but losing all three bouts.

Despite the losses, he was upbeat and excited to be there to cheer on his team and have his father in the stands taping the fights and cheering him on.

“He's pretty proud to watch me wrestle,” Peter said.

Dad Gary Jerome was all smiles as he spoke about having the chance to watch his son compete with competitors from around the North, but admitted watching a child wrestle can be a bit strenuous.

“It's nerve-racking,” he said. “You're hoping he wins and, you know, he could get hurt, he could hurt other people.”

When asked what he thought got his son into the sport, Jerome said he suspects it was television's WWE wrestling.

“He really loves that show,” Jerome said.

Despite the inherent dangers of wrestling, Jerome said he didn't stand in his son's way when he wanted to participate.

“Anything he's up for I'm supportive. Wrestling is a very physical game and you just hope he doesn't get hurt. It's what's on the back of your mind most of the time.”

Other than watching his son compete, Jerome said the games have been exciting and he's enjoyed the chance to watch a few other NWT teams in action.

“It's busy, it's a lot of fun. Hockey is a lot of fun to watch,” he said. “It's pretty crowded here in Whitehorse this week.