Alaska’s gymnastics team scored big at the Arctic Games in Alberta, Canada, earlier this month. The four gymnasts from around the state won the top award for the team competition, the Gold Ulu. Then two days later they racked up medals during individual team competition. Sitkan Trisha Bessert coached them to victory: 

“I’m really proud of them for coming through with the Team Gold Ulu. That was exciting, but for the individual competition…our team took home 12 out of 15 medals. They did awesome,” Bessert said.

Gymnast Emma Marsh, from Anchorage, also scored the gold ‘all around’ title for the highest combined score in all four events. Bessert says Marsh also took home the coveted “fair play” pin. 

“It is only awarded to 35 athletes out of 2000. And it stands for ultimate sportsmanship,” Bessert said. “So she was recognized as one of the 35 athletes that displayed ultimate sportsmanship during the competition.”

Two Mt. Edgecumbe High School students also scored big. Peter Griggs placed silver in the two-foot high kick. And Colton Paul won the Gold Ulu in all five of the competitions he entered– Paul tied for the most gold medals won by a single competitor for Team Alaska.

Earlier this month, over 2,100 athletes, coaches and staff gathered in Wood Buffalo, Alberta, Canada for the Arctic Winter Games. The international sports competition for northern athletes happens every other year, with Alaskans representing the United States.