The following editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
Less than three months.
That’s when an estimated 2,000 athletes, along with coaches, support staff and family, will be in Fairbanks for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games.
This will be an incredible spectacle that Fairbanks hasn’t hosted since 1988. Teams from many nations in the circumpolar north will send contingents to our city for a week of competition in an array of sports — cross-country skiing, curling, biathlon, dog mushing, figure skating, hockey, wrestling and basketball, to list but a few.
Having just less than three months until the arrival of the opening ceremonies might seem like a lot of time, but it isn’t. Organizers of the Fairbanks host society work continually to ensure that the 2014 games will be a success. That means constant efforts at fundraising, at public relations, at logistics and event planning, and at finding the estimated 2,500 to 3,000 volunteers who will be needed for the games.
Yet another example of the complexity of this task was noted in a story in Tuesday’s edition of the Daily News-Miner. The story was about the search for language interpreters, should they be needed by any of the visiting contingents.
English is the official language of the Arctic Winter Games, but it’s common sense to assume that some of our guests will speak only their native language — Russian, Swedish, or Greenlandic, for example.
The Fairbanks Arctic Winter Games organizers need volunteers not only for interpreting but also for a variety of other functions. Information about volunteering is available at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games website (awg2014.org). Information about becoming a sponsor is also available on the website.
Tickets are on sale, also through the website.
The Arctic Winter Games open March 15 and run through March 22.
This is an event that Fairbanks likely won’t see for quite a while. Be a part of it.