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Contract signed to officially bring the Arctic Winter Games to the Mat-Su in 2024

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 10:11 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Mat-Su 2024 Arctic Winter Games Host Society welcomed the Arctic Winter Games International Committee and signed the contract on Friday to officially bring the games to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in 2024.

Quite a few people showed up for the signing for the event that will bring countless athletes and volunteers together in two short years. The president of the host society, Amy Spargo, said that the Valley is the perfect place to host the 21 different sports with athletes from eight different northern nations.

“The Mat-Su is a gem as far as outdoor recreation and I don’t think a lot of people know that we have great facilities at Government Peak and Skeetawk, and we have a lot of venues that are going to be perfect for hosting the Arctic Winter Games,” Spargo said.

Government Peak and Skeetawk are just two of the many venues where the games will take place. Spargo said that they will be using virtually every venue in the area, from ice rinks to school gyms across the Mat-Su. The Arctic Winter Games take place every two years, however in 2022 due to COVID-19 regulations, they had to be rescheduled to 2023. That means that when the games roll around in 2024 it will be in back-to-back years.

“First and foremost, this is athlete centered, so it’s care, comfort, accommodations, security, medical, venues, transportation — all the things that make sure that when those athletes arrive, they arrive safely and they leave safely, and in between have just an awesome experience,” said John Rodda, vice president and treasurer of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee..

The mayor of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is excited to not only watch Alaskans compete, but also for the local economy. Mayor Edna DeVries said that roughly 6,000 people, from volunteers to athletes, will be in and around the borough to help out. That’s a big number when one considers the population of the borough is roughly 100,000.

“It’s going to be so rewarding when all of those people come and we get to see those athletes, and they get to enjoy the beauty that we enjoy every day in the Mat-Su Borough,” DeVries said.

Over the next two days, the AWG International Committee will be touring the various sites that will be used for the games.

The last time the games were held in the state of Alaska was in Fairbanks in 2014, where Alaska won the most total and gold medals.

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