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  • Kendra Zamzow

Closing Ceremony Passes the Games to Yukon

Eight chickadees flocked out onto the floor of the Curtis J. Menard Center to entertain the audience gathered for the Closing Ceremony. They danced and bowed, separated and rejoined as dignitaries took the stage. Some of the dignitaries included Senator Lisa Murkowski, Governor Dunleavy, state Representative Cathy Tilton of Wasilla, and Traditional Chief Gary Harrison of Chickaloon Native Village. Teams marched onto the floor behind their regional flags, snaking across the auditorium until it was filled with thousands of athletes.

Large screens showed video clips highlighting each sport. To the cheers of the red-and-black plaid contingent, the Hodgson Trophy for Sportsmanship was awarded to Team Yukon. Finally, the torch for the 2024 Arctic Winter Games was extinguished and passed on to Whitehorse, Yukon, which will host the 2026 Arctic Winter Games. Yukon’s Theatre for Young People led the crowd in singing an uplifting song about the ice and snow and light that everyone from the north could relate to.

As Chief Gary said in his spirited speech, “Without all of you we wouldn’t have all had a really good time.” Thanks to all the athletes, mission staff, volunteers, and spectators. We hope to see you in 2026 in Whitehorse!


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