Indigenous athletes showcased in Winter Olympics

There are five Indigenous athletes chased and are chasing glory at the Beijing Olympics.

The Games, which officially began on Friday, Feb. 4 and will continue until Feb. 20, showed five Indigenous athletes in three disciplines this year.

Snowboard Canada officials announced that Liam Gill, a member of Liidlii Kue First Nation in the Northwest Territories competed as an unexpected shoe in. Gill had been named as an alternate for the Canadian squad and was not expecting to go to China for the Olympics, yet he found himself heading to Beijing after one of his teammates in the halfpipe competition was forced to withdraw due to a recent training injury.

Alexandra Loutitt is a member of the Nihtat Gwich’in based in Inuvik. After she earned a medal with the Canadian mixed ski jumping squad, the Gwich’in Tribal Council came to claim Loutitt as one of their own through her father Sandy Loutitt.

Along with the two, the other Indigenous athletes at the Olympics are household names now; Jocelyne Larocque, Jamie Lee Rattray and Abby Roque, who played hockey stateside.

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