Ryan Uquqtuq came home from the 2023 North American Indigenous Games with a bronze medal in doubles badminton, and the community recognized his achievement with a parade Wednesday, July 26.
“It was a close match,” said Uquqtuq about the final game that earned him bronze.
He played alongside Dwayne Veevee of Pangnirtung in the doubles game. The pair combined to defeat Manitoba 21-18 and 21-19 for a 2-0 win.
Uquqtuq said the competition wasn’t bad at the games and good teamwork helped he and Veevee win.
The Baker Lake youth has been playing badminton for one year and is already looking ahead to trying out for the 2024 Arctic Winter Games.
“We’re really proud of him,” said mother Delma Uquqtuq as a community parade was soon to begin honouring his performance.
“We’re excited. We’re really happy. We watched from the stands”
She also sent out a congratulations to all Nunavummiut who received medals and everyone who participated in the games, and especially Uquqtuq’s doubles partner, Veevee.
Overall at the games, Nunavut earned nine medals, seven of which came in badminton. Eekee Avalak earned a wrestling gold, along with Tina Kudlualik earning a badminton gold. Thayer Komakjuak of Arviat earned wrestling silver, and Coral Harbour’s Allie Ruby Ningeocheak contributed to a women’s doubles badminton silver with Kudlualik. Rodney Nakoolak of Coral Harbour also earned a bronze in badminton.