The Arctic Winter Games International Committee and the Wood Buffalo Arctic Winter Host Society are diligently working together to determine an appropriate date for the Games to be rescheduled.
1. When were the Wood Buffalo Arctic Winter Games originally scheduled to occur?
The Wood Buffalo Arctic Winter Games were scheduled to occur between March 6 and 12, 2022.
2. Why were the Games postponed at this time?
The decision was made at this time with careful consideration to protect the health of participants and communities of the Circumpolar North and to provide all stakeholders time to adjust their preparations. Given the uncertainty created by the ongoing pandemic, the Games were postponed to ensure the health and safety of all the participants, coaches, staff, volunteers, spectators and the host community. Additionally, the COVID19 pandemic would likely prevent us from delivering on our mission and vision to host a meaningful Arctic Winter Games experience that is a premier sport and cultural event for Circumpolar youth.
3. What factors have been considered in making this decision?
In January 2021, the AWGIC contracted the Sport Law & Strategy Group (SLSG) to develop a comprehensive risk analysis of the potential impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the 2022 Arctic Winter Games, and to report on the risk analysis as well as the critical feedback from key stakeholders. In review of this Report, the AWGIC determined that several of the key risks presented by the ongoing pandemic were too high to tolerate if the Games were to proceed in March 2022.
Aligning with the AWGIC values was paramount in this decision-making process as well as the prudent consideration into several of the risk factors as presented within the SLSG report. As a participant focused organization, the AWGIC champions the emotional and physical needs and safety of all participants while operating with transparency and high ethical standards. The risk to the health and safety of participants, a diminished participant experience as well as financial loss and planning uncertainty were key risk factors to postpone the Games.
4. Who has been involved in the decision to postpone?
The decision to postpone was made by the AWGIC, after extensive consultation, via the Sport Law & Strategy Group, with the Wood Buffalo Arctic Winter Games Host Society, and Chefs de Mission of Participating Units. Major Games leaders were also engaged and helped to inform the decision.
5. What are the new dates for the Games?
The AWGIC recognizes that the decision to postpone and any uncertainty around the potential new date may cause concerns about the future. As such, the AWGIC is working diligently with the Wood Buffalo Arctic Winter Host Society, in consultation with the Chefs de Mission from Participating Units, to determine a responsible and appropriate date for the Games as swiftly and as efficiently as possible. The AWGIC wishes to thank everyone for their patience while they conduct this process.
6. Will this affect future Arctic Winter Games?
The dates and locations of future Arctic Winter Games have yet to be confirmed, and thus there is ample time to revise any impacts associated with the postponement of the Wood Buffalo 2022 Arctic Winter Games.
7. With the Games now postponed, is it likely to be the same athletes participating in the Games?
The AWGIC is working with itssport partners on important issues around athlete eligibility and team selections. As of right now, no decisions have been made on adjustments to athlete eligibility rules, including age categories. The AWGIC, in consultation with Chefs de Mission of Participating Units, will be reviewing the eligibility requirements of the athletes to determine whether or not adjustments are necessary.
8. What is the Game Plan once a new date is established?
Once a new date for has been determined, the AWGIC will continue to collaborate with the Host Society and its Participating Units to identify the key impacts associated with this postponement and to build a Roadmap for the future. This Roadmap will re-establish the key milestones, decisions, and deadlines for the Games, as well as any relevant COVID-19 protocols that may still need to be considered.
9. What if we have other questions?
If you have other questions, please contact:
Arctic Winter Games International Committee
Moira Lassen, Operations Coordinator
Wood Buffalo 2022 Arctic Winter Games