Naomi Yukon has been named the flagbearer for Team NT at the Western Canada Summer Games, which begin in Swift Current, SK, this week.
Yukon – whose last name may confuse a few officials at the opening ceremony – is a member of the territory’s basketball team from Délįne.
Two years ago, Naomi left Délįne to live in Yellowknife as she pursues her dream of playing college basketball.
She has represented the NWT at the past two Arctic Winter Games.
“Naomi is a bright, young, mature athlete who stays out of trouble and dedicates herself to the sport of basketball and her school work,” said Aaron Wells, her coach and manager of the territory’s female basketball team for the Western Canada Summer Games.
“She is a quiet leader who leads by example on the court and speaks up when she needs to. She is an excellent role model for the younger generation in her home community.”
Rita Mercredi, Team NT’s chef de mission, said in a news release Naomi “embodies the characteristics of what it means to be a Team NT athlete.”
Mercredi said: “She is dedicated to her sport as well as her studies, she is a role model and very respected by her peers. We know she will carry the Northwest Territories flag with pride.”
The opening ceremony in Swift Current is set for Friday evening, with the territory’s soccer teams in action earlier that day. The Games run from Friday until Sunday, August 18.
Alongside soccer and basketball, the territory will take part in track and field, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling.
Team NT said 127 athletes and 21 coaches are travelling to the Games alongside 21 managers and mission staff. The first group of attendees leaves for the Games on Thursday.
The territory did not reach the podium in any events at the last Western Canada Summer Games in Fort McMurray four years ago.