What Does Sled Dog Racing’s Future Look Like?

Sled dog racing is in danger of fading into obscurity in the aftermath of COVID. Younger generations are abandoning the sport in droves as inflation soars.

Is the sport of dog sledding, as it is known informally, in danger of dying?, asks an editorial piece in the Anchorage Daily News.

Sled dog races have been a typical sight inside the Arctic circle since the early 20th century. The All Alaska Sweepstakes, the first sled dog race in America, covered 400 miles of the unforgiving tundra of Alaska.

The sport was a phenomenon for a period, with international teams fighting against one another. This culminated in repeated unsuccessful attempts to add sled dog racing as an Olympic event.

The 1925 Great Race of Mercy, however, was the sled dog racing sport's most glorious hour. In the ominous northern region of Alaska, the city of Nome experienced a diphtheria epidemic.

Being cut off from civilization, it was up to a big team of 150 sled dogs to deliver the life-saving antitoxin. 20 mushers travelled 634 kilometres together with their dogs in just five and a half days, saving numerous lives and earning the title of "national heroes."

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