Barents Winter Games are obviously about sports. But the games also aim to develop the friendship amongst the youth of the participating countries.


You can feel the energy within the activity centre at Alcatraz. Wherever one looks youth is standing together to chat. Other are already on their way to one of the fun activities that all participants are invited to during the evenings “get together – play together”. Laughter and shouts of joy can be heard over the voices of the 1000 young participants of Barents Winter Games 2018. They have gathered at Alcatraz to get to know each other and to share an entertaining evening together.

- Barents Winter Games are an amusing experience. Something more special than an ordinary competition. The opening was really cool, note the ice figure skaters Saga Landström and Lovisa Thylin from Skellefteå, Sweden.

The fact that the participants come from four different countries experience the two athletes as something extra positive. Even though the language barrier can be a challenge when trying to meet athletes from neighbouring countries.

- For tonight we have planned to meet up with other ice figure skaters to get to know our competitors, state the girls before heading to the flag ceremony. Barents flag will be handed over from Luleå to Murmansk where the next games will be organised.

Evgeni, Oleg and Vanya from the Murmansk region in Russia came to Luleå to compete in slalom. Their interpreter Maria is always close to the trio to assist with translation. The Russian delegation has brought about 20 interpreters as “bridgebuilders” to the games.

- It feels like being part of “the artic spirit” by gathering so many athletes at one place, detect the three boys. Furthermore they state their compliment for the good organisation of the event.

Friendship, tolerance and understanding are one of the objectives of Barents Winter Games. As the “get together” evening passes by many new contacts have been established and experiences have been exchanged amongst youth from four different countries. Surrounded by several funny, interesting and sporty activities at Alcatraz.

/Annemari Johansson

Bodens Fotoklubb
Russion alpine skiiers
Bodens Fotoklubb
Saga Landström and Lovisa Thylin