Nunavut is bringing home one extra piece of hardware from the 2012 Arctic Winter Games, and this one - the Hodgson Trophy for fair play and team spirit - does not require a medal round.


Nunavut diversified its medal count Friday with two silver and a bronze in speedskating relay, a bronze in team dog mushing, and big bronze ulu wins in girls' volleyball and boys' hockey.


It took some convincing to get double gold medallist Andrew Bell to try his hand at Arctic sports, but the Kugluktuk man is glad he succumbed to pressure from his friend and trainer Andrew Atatahak.


With athletes coming to the far northwest of Canada from the Grise Fiord, Canada's northernmost settlement, and from Antigonish, NS, and a coach from Vancouver, Nunavut's badminton team is a tri-coastal effort.

"My teacher asked me if I wanted to go to Iqaluit for a tournament, so I said, yeah, why not," said Grise Fiord's Jayko Akeeagok, who turns 16 on Saturday, who first picked up a racquet ahead of that November tournament. "I won gold, and ended up here."


Nunavut continued to do well in three sports, adding 10 uluit in Arctic sports, Dene games and Inuit wrestling.

Ikey Bolt of Kugluktuk took his second medal, this time gold in one foot high kick with an unmixed height of 8-foot-1-inch, three inches above his personal best. Teammate Brandon Qiyuk also hit the height to earn silver, but did so after four misses.


Team Nunavut leaped over Team Greenland in the ulu count Wednesday thanks to its wrestlers, who alone brought in nine as the count surged from 10 to 21 in one day.

The gold count also doubled to four thanks to triple medalist Andrew Bell’s 10.95-metre triple jump and the junior boys’ hand games players.


Anything can happen in speed skating, a reality that almost earned Nunavut’s Alexia Galloway-Alainga a bronze ulu in the 500-metre juvenile girls’ division Tuesday after the NWT’s Kristin Chapman lost her balance.

Almost, that is. Chapman recovered to steal the prize.


Despite less than three months of curling experience, Rankin Inlet’s David Kakuktinniq Jr threw one of the sport’s toughest shots, a triple angle take out, which cleared the house in a 10-1 loss to Alaska Tuesday.


Aiming for personal bests instead of gold, Nunavut’s four-member gymnastics team from Rankin Inlet has come a long way since the 2010 Arctic Winter Games, coach Lisa Kresky said after the team competition Tuesday.

“Even other coaches have noticed it,” Kresky said.


Nunavut was seventh of nine teams after three days of competition at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse. The territory’s current ulu count includes two golds, three silver and five bronze.

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