School honours Games athletes

Students at Diamond Jenness Secondary School gathered in the school’s concourse on March 14 to cheer on athletes who brought back medals from the Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse.

Twenty-seven students from the school attended the 2012 Games and accounted for 36 medals in a variety of sports. Twenty-one medals were earned in ski and snowshoe biathlon.

“We as a staff and as a community are very proud of all of the athletes and their accomplishments,” said  teacher Stephen MacKay.

Biathlon coach Chuck Lirette said the competition and travel were arduous and the days were long but once they found their rhythm, team members were prepared for the day’s events.

Lirette said unlike many multi-sport games, the Arctic Winter Games provides the most supportive coaching environment.

Diamond Jenness students were represented in 11 sports in Whitehorse.

“That shows that there’s a lot of opportunity and a lot of potential here in Hay River,” said Lirette. “Athletes can get all the coaching and the playtime back here. I think that’s what struck me the most and that speaks loads of our community and what’s available here.”

Shortly after returning from the games, Christopher Lirette and Angeline Magtibay travelled to Quebec to compete in Biathlon nationals at which Lirette won gold in the senior boys six-kilometre sprint.