Sports

Snowshoeing and snow snaking are favorites at the Arctic Winter Games

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Credit: Steve Paskvan / 2014 Arctic Winter Games

Snow snake competition, Fairbanks, Alaska

Name the US city that's hosting more than 2,000 athletes for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the audio to hear it.)

The athletes make up nine teams from the circumpolar North: Alaska, Alberta, Greenland, Northwest Territories, Nunavik, Nunuvut, Sapmi, Yamal, and Yukon.

They're competing in 20 different sports from alpine skiing to wrestling. Sounds like the Olympics? Close but not quite.

Athletes are mostly a bit younger and they compete in sports like snowshoeing, the head pull, and the snow snake. 

The Arctic Winter Games happen every four years, like the Olympics. In 2010, they were held in Grand Prairie, Canada, and in 2016, they'll be in Greenland.

But can you name the city where the Arctic Winter Games are being held right now?

While you puzzle on it, you can listen to this year's Arctic Winter Games theme song: "Light the Torch" performed by 6th graders at Denali Elementary School. 

It goes like this:

Yo! Where were you when the Arctic Winter Games came onto the scene, the best of the best from all around north, in the golden heart city, gonna light the torch, let the ball bounce, let the people jump, gonna welcome all the athletes with a northern fist pump, the city on the river, that's where it's going down, the Arctic Winter Games are coming, light the torch, lay it on your front porch, light the torch.

Now the answer you've been waiting for.

The Arctic Winter Games are underway in Fairbanks, Alaska. Listener Tori Tragis sent us this quiz after attending the snow snake competition.

Snow snake is a little bit like the javelin toss, but athletes slide sticks down a snow track to see how far they can go. The team with the longest distances win.

Snow snake was played by indigenous people in parts of what is now the US and Canada. It's not traditional here in Alaska, but that's part of what the Arctic Winter Games is all about — learning from each other, as well as competing against each other.

Thanks to listener Tori Tragis in Fairbanks, Alaska where "the snow snakes keep sliding down the track and everyone gets cheered on no matter where they're from," for Thursday's Geo Quiz.

 And congrats to our Geo Quiz text gamers who came up with Fairbanks, Alaska. Kelly in Duluth, Minnesota, Robyn in Chugiak, Alaska and Sam in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania. Play along with us.. Just text "GEOQUIZ" one word to 69866.

 

 

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    A mushing team in action at the Arctic Winter Games

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    Snowshoe biathlon Arctic Winter Games 2014

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    2014 Arctic Winter Games

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    Cross Country Skiing 2014 Arctic Winter Games, Fairbanks, Alaska

  • AWGsnowsnake.JPG

    Credit: 2014 Arctic Winter Games

    Snow snake competition 2104 Arctic Winter Games

  • AWGdance.jpg

    Credit: 2014 Arctic Winter Games

    Dance performance at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games, Fairbanks, Alaska

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