A crowd gathered on March 18 to watch a special milestone on the road to the 2018 Arctic Winter Games in the South Slave.
What made March 18 special is it marked exactly a year until the opening ceremonies of the games in Hay River and Fort Smith.
And to remind everyone in Hay River as the games get nearer and nearer, the clock on the outside of the swimming pool will count down the days to the opening ceremonies.
“It’s a pretty exciting time,” said Mayor Brad Mapes at a brief ceremony in the lobby of the swimming pool before the countdown clock was launched.
“We’ve got one year now,” he said. “Everybody is going to get the buzz. The thing about it is the clock is going to be showing everybody in town that we’re ready to go.”
Greg Rowe, the president of the host society for the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games, thanked everyone for coming out to mark the “significant milestone.”
Rowe said realizing the games are just 365 days away creates excitement, along with a bit of anxiety.
The launching of the countdown clock was also attended by Fort Smith Mayor Lynn Napier-Buckley and Jens Brinch, the president of the International Committee of the Arctic Winter Games.
Napier-Buckley said Fort Smith is very excited to have its new snowboard park ready for the games.
“And we’re very excited about the year ahead,” she said, while calling on people to get out and volunteer for the games.
“If you’re not volunteering yet, we’re going to come find you,” she joked.
Brinch said he’s looking forward to being in Hay River to see the games.
“And I’m looking forward to see the result of the hard work in the coming year,” said the president of the AWG’s international committee.