All Northwest Territories athletes will receive full refunds after the cancellation of the Arctic Winter Games, Team NT announced on Monday.
Sport North, the organizers of Team NT, said on Facebook that the $350 registration fee paid by each athlete would be returned. Athletes will also be allowed to keep their uniforms.
The Games, due to begin in Whitehorse this weekend, were cancelled over the risk of coronavirus spreading to northern communities in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia.
In a surprise announcement on Saturday, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health said: “In a setting like the Arctic Winter Games, even a suspected case would be devastating.”
On Monday, Team NT wrote online: “Thank you for your support and for understanding the difficult decision that was made related to the cancellation of the 2020 Arctic Winter Games.
“All participants will be allowed to keep their uniforms and the $350 participant fee will be refunded.”
The statement was attributed to Doug Rentmeister, the team’s chef de mission, who said further updates would follow.
“While we are all disappointed, the health and wellbeing of the thousands of people who would have been participants, volunteers, or spectators at the Games was far too important,” said Rentmeister.
Around 2,000 athletes, several hundred of them from the NWT, were set to compete over a week of events in Whitehorse.
The Arctic Winter Games are held every two years, rotating to date between Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.
Fort McMurray is due to host the next edition in 2022.
There are so far no confirmed cases of coronavirus Covid-19 in the NWT or Yukon.