Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad
It's all fun and games ...

Participants injured at Christmas competition

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Jan 09/02) - There is always a risk of injury when people come together to compete for prizes.

The 2001 Christmas Games in Rankin Inlet, for example, were almost marred by tragedy.

A freak accident during an indoor portion of the games at the community hall almost resulted in serious injury.

The incident occurred during a relay race with pop cans.

The scene was pure bedlam, with participants running from one end of the building to the other.

Rankin recreation co-odinator Johnny Tucktoo said that at the height of the excitement one participant was heading for the finish line while another was running in the opposite direction.

Both male contestants were concentrating on keeping control of their pop cans.

Tucktoo said he was facing the other way when the incident occurred, but he heard the crowd moan and the two bodies come together.

"You know the sound of skin and bone coming together -- or however you want to describe the sound of two people coming together in a collision," said Tucktoo.

"I didn't know what the hell happened. I turned to look and here's these two guys lying on the floor and everyone screaming at me that they had collided."

An ambulance crew arrived on the scene quickly and the two men were transported to the local health centre.

It was originally thought that one of the two, Charlie Manernaluk, had suffered a broken vertebra in his neck and he was medevaced to Winnipeg.

Manernaluk was eventually treated for a concussion and deep bump to the head and released.

"It was too bad an incident like that had to happen because, overall, the games went reasonably well this year," Tucktoo says.

"We had lots of participation at the various events and we had a bit more volunteer help this year than last and that was really needed."