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NNSL Photo/graphic

Canadian Olympian Charles Allen, back right, led Nunavut Olympic Youth Academy participants Natasha Mablik (Kimmirut), Amber Tagalik (Arviat), Lazerus Teenar (Whale Cove), Kris Okpatauyak (Rankin Inlet), Joefrey Okalik (Whale Cove) and Mason Pauloosie (Arctic Bay), front row from left, and Aqpik Peter (Iqaluit), back left, in the Torch Relay this past month in Rankin. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Seizing the moment

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Nov 08/06) - Communities across the Kivalliq did their part in helping the Canada Winter Games torch find its way to the Yukon this past month.

The Torch Relay coincided with the Nunavut Olympic Youth Academy gathering in Rankin Inlet.

Teenagers from across Nunavut were in Rankin for the academy, with seven youth representing six communities helping Canadian Olympian Charles Allen run the relay.

Two youth from Whale Cove took part in the relay event. For Allen, the relay was an added bonus to his Rankin visit. "When I first found out I had been selected to come to Rankin, I had no idea where I was going," said Allen with a laugh. "I had to look up Nunavut to get a sense of where I was headed. The people in the south I mentioned the trip to told me it was so cold here, I probably wouldn't survive.

"But, it's been a great experience and although it's symbolic, I'm sure running with the torch is something these kids will never forget."

Rankin's Kris Okpatauyak took part in the two events and agreed with Allen's assessment.

He said it felt good to be holding the Games torch in the air, even if it was just for a few moments. "The torch is really nice and it was cool to get to run with it," said Okpatauyak.

"I had a lot of fun during the weekend and really learned a lot at the academy. They told us a lot about what you have to do to run an event in your community, and I enjoyed listening to Charles talk about the Olympics and stuff."

Arviat's Amber Tagalik agreed with Okpatauyak on the weekend being a good learning experience and a lot of fun.

She said there's a lot of hard work involved with organizing events and she wasn't about to miss a chance to carry the torch.

"How often do you get a chance to run with the torch from the Canada Winter Games?" she asked.