Canada Reclaiming an Arctic Identity

Canada Reclaiming an Arctic Identity

Here above the Arctic Circle in the bracing cold, the talk in bars and saunas is entirely devoted to events in balmy Vancouver.

Yes, Laplanders tell me over reindeer-meat lunches, they've made elaborate plans to stay up all night to watch the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games, and to see how NHL stars Miikka Kiprusoff and Sami Salo fare with the Finnish Olympic hockey team.

But they're even more excited about the prospects of cross-country skiers Aino-Kaisa Saarinen and Virpi Kuitunen, household names who make the front pages in non-Olympic years, and ski jumper Janne Ahonen, who is probably Finland's best-known and most-respected sports figure.

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