The Canadian Winter Olympics symbol of the Vancouver games is well known for Norwegians: The inuksuk is to be seen in Oslo by the Maritime Museum at Bygdøy island:

Winter Olympics Inuksuk from Canada in Norway #3 Lillehammer1994

An inuksuk (plural inuksuit) is a stone landmark or cairn, used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America, from Alaska to Greenland. The inuksuk may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for hunting grounds, or as a food cache. The Inupiat in northern Alaska used inuksuit to assist in the herding of caribou into contained areas for slaughter. There are four authentic inuksuit around the world donated by the government of Canada: in Monterrey, Mexico – Washington, D.C. – Guatemala City and Oslo, Norway:
Winter Olympics Inuksuk from Canada in Norway #1

In 2005, The Canadian Ambassador to Norway unveiled an inuksuk at Bygdøy Maritime Museum in Oslo to celebrate Norway’s centennial (100 years since end to the Union between Sweden and Norway, 1814 – 1905). It was of course also recognizing the fondness our people have for each other and given as a symbol of the special relationship there exists between our two countries of the North.

Roald AmundsenThe strong ties between Norway & Canada started with the Viking visits to Newfoundland, their brief settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, and continue through Roald Amundsen‘s successful exploration through the Northwest Passage one hundred years ago. (1903-1906) During World War II Norwegian pilots trained at Little Norway, a training camp in southern Ontario. Today, our two countries share common visions on the international scene; we cooperate in fields such as Arctic Council, human security, the UN reform among others.

It is especially poignant that the inuksuk is created by Joseph Suqslak, a resident of Gjoa Haven in Nunavut. Amundsen spent three winters in Gjoa Haven before his successful attempt at sailing the Northwest Passage. The name of the community bears witness of the visiting ship. Without the willingness of the Inuit to share their knowledge and skills of survival in the arctic winter it is questionable whether Amundsen would have succeeded in his attempt:
Winter Olympics Inuksuk from Canada in Norway #5 Winter Olympics Inuksuk from Canada in Norway #7
Left: Amundsen’s boat Gjøa to the right – Right: Opposite side with Gjøa in front of The Fram and Maritime Museum.

The inuksuk next to the boat Gjøa was installed by Mr. Mattiusi Iyaituk, and artist and President of the Board of Directors of the Inuit Art Foundation in Canada.

The Olympics logo has become more and more a national symbol of the hosting county and showing some typical or genuine part of the countries roots or nature. Vancouver’s is a great example and here is the similar for the two games in Norway:
Oslo1952 Lillehammer1994
Left: In the centre the Olympic rings with the silhouette of the New Town Hall of Oslo. On the outside border the inscription “The VI Olympics Winter Games Oslo 1952”.
Right: A stylized aurora borealis (Northern lights) and snow crystals, the Olympic rings.

Since the start of the Vancouver games, the inuksuk in Oslo has been a very popular photo object. When my wife DianeCA and I were there today to shoot the pics for this post, we met people from all over the world – even China! Two girls where swarming around this strange stone statue. When I told them what it was and the purpose of my visit, they willingly posed – even if it was freezing cold :-)
Winter Olympics Inuksuk from Canada in Norway #6

It is always fun for me to meet new people from around the world and I am hoping this summer to meet many more friends! Remember the museums on Bygdøy Island will be available to participants at the Oslo Blog Gathering in August and I am really looking forward to guiding you around this beautiful place. So do another local gathering host, posting about the same: TorAa.


  1. I didn’t realise that inuksuit were to be found in so many places. That is a very interesting piece of information, Renny. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Pingback:Winter Olympics 2010 Inuksuk from Canada in Norway | Today Headlines

  3. Excellent post Renny! :-) By the way, I’ve been cheering on your Norwegian skiiers, I wish I could ski like that! Went out for a lovely cross-country ski this afternoon, perfect weather, minus six, and light snow falling, it was beautiful, and I needed the exercise. Thanks again for this post.

  4. I love inuksuks (or should I say inuksuit? I didn’t know the plural!), for both the symbol and the art. I’m glad you have one in Norway, makes us feel closer somehow ;-) And I’m not surprised given the strong ties and similarities between our two countries.

    In Ottawa, we have a local artist who build inuksuks on the river every summer – do you remember?

  5. may visitor lift the stone ? it look like an ordinary stone right

  6. Wonderful post. I also have been cheering Norway!

  7. My dear friend,
    a short phonecall, and you created this fantastic post.
    I’m really impressed.

    btw.I’ll create a link from my post about background for the Vancouver Winter Olympics Logo to your post here. Will you do the same?

  8. As I told Tor, every time I hear of another Norwegian medal, I think of you! My knowing both you and Tor has given me a richer connection to Norway and especially in these Olympics…!
    Wonderful pictures Renny, and wonderful history—all new to me.

  9. Interesting info! I’ve been to Oslo three times and have seen almost everything there is to see, even been down to the Oslo fjord and up to Holmen Kollen. The only place I’ve not visited yet is Akershus Fortress. Maybe next summer ;-)

  10. Interesting info … I never knew!

  11. Oh, I love the rock formation!

  12. How fascinating and the statue looks like it’s ‘falling’ down, so cute :D

  13. H Renny Thanks for the hello and sharing of informaiton. All interesting.


  14. Great post Renny…i have missed visiting you. i do hope all is well and that you have a great rest of the week. the statue is great!

    Love, jess

  15. They stream everything live, but with you being in Dubai sometimes there are restrictions for being out of country. I don’t know if that applies because I’m in Canada.

  16. When we were in Vancouver in 2007, Renny, I got my first introduction to the inukshuk and fell in love with it. I love the logo for this olympics and think it will never be forgotten! I love its connection to you in Norway.

  17. how fascinating. i like the ancient look of the inuksuk and how it looks like a person. thanks for sharing this little bit of connection between norway and canada.

  18. Interesting! I learn something more about the inuksuk and your country. :)

  19. I’ll try to heal quickly so I can come to meet you and the other bloggers in Norway. Pray for me too. :)

  20. You manage to pick up lots of interesting information – I have learned something today!

  21. Interesting explanation !
    Those two girls seem to have cold ! ;-)

  22. Hi…visiting from BPOTW and thought I’d take the time to say hello! Your photos were lovely and the info about the inuksuk very interesting! I live in Portland, Oregon, only a couple hundred miles south of Vancouver, BC. They’re lucky to have snow…our snowfall in our part of the mountains is only 64% of normal this year. Most of it seems to have headed south to California’s mountains this year, or as rain in their lower elevations. We’ve had a mild winter and everything is beginning to bloom like crazy here!

  23. This is very interesting information….thanks so much for posting it.

  24. Mr. Renny,
    Good Day!

    I’m leaving in tropical country of Philippines. I you blog was so influence by snow, winter or anything that makes your bone to shiver. I really appreciated your whether and country my question is – If you have a choice do you want to live in the country like mine?

  25. That was a really an informative post. I like to read lot of posts on travel and your description is also awesome.

  26. He was driven at the back of a truck in the rain with his torch in his hand to light the cauldron in Vancouver’s downtown waterfront area next to the Canada Place to be exact…

  27. Great stuff: Amy Williams wins Gold in the skeleton @ Vancouver . Britain’s 1st individual Winter Olympics gold for 30 years!

  28. Interesting history and important too. We always like when two countries reach out to each other like that :-)

  29. How i wish there are lots of blogger like sir Renny who is very proud with his culture and country

  30. I was great to have in Canada. I love it when its Olympics time

  31. I was great to have in Canada. I love it when its Olympics time

  32. I really wish to there and watch the Olympics..

  33. I also wants to go in Canada to have fun and watch in the Olympics.

  34. I really like your blog and i really appreciate the excellent quality content you are posting here.

  35. I wish I can also go to Canada, I’ve heard a lot on this country. Are the rocks formation man made of nature did that???

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