FAIRBANKS — Members of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee and representatives from five of the participating delegations are in Fairbanks through Saturday to put their final stamp of approval on plans for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games.
The visit is designed so committee members can make a check on the status for the Arctic Winter Games scheduled from March 15-22, 2014, at a variety of venues throughout the North Star Borough.
“We will tour all the venues Thursday (today) and Friday to make sure the venues meet all the criteria established by the committee,” said Karen Lane, Fairbanks general manager for the event. “Once we get the OK on the venues, then we can go ahead with the final plans.”
What happens if the committee doesn’t approve a venue?
“Then we’ll need to go back and make some changes,” Lane said.
In addition to checking out the venues, the committee will visit the athletes’ village, which will include Lathrop High School, Ryan Middle School, and Hunter and Barnett elementary schools.
The meetings also will discuss such items as security and marketing plans and other details surrounding one of the largest sporting events in North America.
The week’s trip to Fairbanks isn’t all meetings and inspections. There are luncheons today at the Carlson Center and Friday at the Westmark Hotel and a reception hosted by University of Alaska Fairbanks chancellor Brian Rogers tonight at the University of Alaska Museum of the North.
More than 2,000 athletes, coaches, mission staff members and cultural members from locations across the circumpolar north are expected to be on hand for the 2014 competition.
Delegations from Greenland, Russia, Sweden and Canada’s Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, Quebec and Yukon will participate.
Athletes will participate in more than 20 sporting competitions and there are several cultural events held throughout the event.
Venues planned for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games include:
• Birch Hill Recreation Area for cross country skiing, ski biathlon, snowshoe biathlon and some snowshoe events.
• Carlson Center for figure skating and speed skating
• Randy Smith Track for snowshoe events.
• Ryan Middle School multipurpose room for Dene Games.
• Lathrop practice field for Dene Games snow snake.
• Ryan Middle School field for pole push.
• Fairbanks Curling Club for curling.
• Fort Wainwright Birch Hill Ski Area for snowboarding.
• Hutchison High School for table tennis.
• Jeff Studdert Racegrounds for dog mushing.
• University of Alaska Fairbanks Student Recreation Center, for indoor soccer.
• Gymnastics Inc. for gymnastics.
• Lathrop High School, arctic sports.
• Mt. Aurora Skiland Resort for Alpine skiing.
• North Pole High School for badminton.
• North Pole Middle School for wrestling.
• Polar Ice Center for hockey practice.
• Randy Smith Middle School for volleyball.
• Monroe Catholic High School for volleyball.
• UAF Patty Center ice arena for hockey.
• West Valley High School for basketball.
• Cultural venues include the athletes’ village, Fairbanks Arts Association Bear Gallery, Hering Auditorium, Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, Pioneer Park Centennial Center for the Arts and the University of Alaska Museum of the North.
The games have been held in Fairbanks on two occasions in the past, the last time being in 1988. Chugiak/Eagle River and Kenai/Soldotna also have hosted past Arctic Winter Games in Alaska.
A Lunch of Champions benefit for the 2014 games is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge.
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Trond-Erik Johanson, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, will be the guest speakers at the event. A past champion will be seated at each table.
Individual tickets are $25 or a table for $250.
For reservations, contact Cherie Solie at 456-2014 or email@example.com.