AWG closing ceremony a swap meet for athletes
The 2018 Arctic Winter Games in South Slave, Canada have come to an end.
For many of the athletes that means swapping their team gear.
The closing ceremony venue was filled with kids in mismatched clothing as they traded with the other contingents.
"For me I wanted everything Greenland,” said Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, a Dene games athlete from Palmer. "I traded my liner, my outer jacket and I have three other shirts I traded for Greenland too.”
Misty said there’s more to her trade than just clothing, though.
“I made connection with the whole Greenland Dene team," Wilmarth-Agoff said. "They’re so kind and so sweet and I feel like I’m going to have friendships with them forever, and I wanted stuff to make me remember them.”
One of the hottest items this year were the Team Yukon hats—two-toned grey knit with a real fur puff ball on top—which were not easy to get.
"I might give out my outer snow jacket and my snow pants for this hat but it’s the big item here. Someone donated the wolf and then volunteers sewed it on,” said Arctic sports athlete Madi Ko as she contemplated a trade. "When am I going to wear this Team Alaska jacket?”
It didn’t take Ko long to figure out the hat might be worth it.
"On paper it doesn’t sound good and my mom will be like, ‘What did you come back with?' And I’ll say 'I got this shirt and I got this hat,’” Ko laughed. "And I might be cold outside but I made my decision.”
Team Alaska’s inner coat, a gray long-sleeve T-shirt with puffy vest front, was also in high demand.
"I traded my puffy jacket for a Greenland backpack, a pair of Greenland sweats, a Greenland hat and a Greenland hoodie,” said volleyball player Clay Johnson. "I was pretty glad about that trade because I didn’t want my puffy anyway and I got all this stuff.”
Misty said the exchanges bring the athletes closer together with the other contingents.
"Everyone is so friendly. They get so enthusiastic about trading, about finding these different communities and connecting with everybody.”
Team Alaska ended the week with 125 ulus, 51 of those gold.
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