As of Thursday, July 24 half of the participating sports at the North American Indigenous games have come to an end.
Team Colorado began its journey to the games on Friday, July 18 making the 1,200 mile trip from Ignacio, Colo. to Regina, Saskatchewan to represent Colorado.
The day after Team Colorado’s arrival in Canada, the girls and boys basketball teams kicked off the games before the opening ceremony even began.
Team Colorado had three basketball teams competing in the games: one girl’s 19 and under team, and two boy’s teams – 19 and under and 14 and under. The girls team and the 14 and under boy’s team both made it to the medal rounds Wednesday, July 23. The girls took on Team Manitoba and the boys rallied with Team British Columbia.
Unfortunately, both teams lost in the bronze medal matches and ended up taking fourth place in their respected divisions. The U19 boys made for some exciting games at the University of Regina going down to the buzzer with Team New Brunswick on Tuesday, July 22. The boy’s 19 and under basketball team ended their run in the consolation bracket losing to Team Florida on Wednesday July 23.
Though no medals were won in basketball, Team Colorado made a statement about how basketball is played in Colorado, showing tremendous heart and admirable sportsmanship.
Badminton started the games off Monday, July 21 in Regina, Saskatchewan. Team Colorado made a statement to fellow competitors being the only U.S. team to have a badminton team. Thus, making badminton an international competition.
Freedom Hunter and Randy Herrera represented for Team Colorado – and the U.S.– on the badminton courts for three days. The boys went toe-to-toe with skilled Canadian teams and showed no fear.
No medals were won in badminton, but Team Colorado left an impression on all teams that badminton is not only a Canadian sport. Their participation can serve as inspiration to fellow U.S. teams to pursue badminton at the next North American Indigenous Games.
Ayesha Clark and Michael Mills, Ute Mountain, have been involved in the Art Program provided at NAIG. The Art Program has been busy all week helping plan and design the closing ceremony Saturday, July 26.
Volleyball, Golf, Swimming and Archery to end the games
Team Colorado has one 19 and under girl’s volleyball team, four golfers, one swimmer, and four archers currently competing. There were no standings or results available at press time.
Team Colorado stats as of July 23
U19 GIRLS BASKETBALL
Vs Eastern Door & The North: Final: 47-26 Team Colorado wins
Vs Ontario: Final: 60-30 Ontario wins
Vs Team Nunavut: Final: 66-27
Vs Team New York: Final: 67-25 Team Colorado wins
U14 BOYS BASKETBALL
Vs Ontario: Final: 37-33 Ontario loses
Vs Northwest Territory: Final: 50-33 Team Colorado wins
Vs Alberta: Final: 50-45 Team Colorado wins
U19 BOYS BASKETBALL
Vs Manitoba: Final: 81-48 Manitoba loses
Vs New Brunswick: Final: 61-60 Team Colorado loses
Vs Nova Scotia: Final: 70-40 Team Colorado loses
Team Colorado was the only U.S. team to have a badminton team; making the sport an international competition.