Saturday, March 8, 2008

Jutai Toonoo

Jutai Toonoo is from Kinngait (aka Cape Dorset) which is just about an hour by air west of Iqaluit. I first met him at the rec center in Dorset, when I was there for the QIA Truth Commission hearings. He was playing table tennis, and that is what he is doing at the AWG's.

Jutai is the youngest of 7 brothers, and they are all happy to see him playing any sport. He suffered from a form of Juvenile Arthritis as a child, but he took up table tennis just 6 months ago, and won the territorial championship.

Now he is off to Yellowknife, one of at least two Kinngait kids on the plane. When I first interviewed him, I was struck by his confidence, he is matter of fact about it, he thinks he can win. Just look at him in the photo, I was joking with him, saying, "Now give me your tough guy look." He was all business.

Fans of Inuit art, the display behind Jutai is one of several in the Iqaluit Airport, this one is from Clyde River.

So far, he really hasn't played a game against someone as skilled as himself. He likely will when he gets to the Games.

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