BBC Vancouver Olympics with Akiak

BBC Sport’s Vancouver Winter Olympics coverage features the story of legendary Inuit Akiak and his quest to find the missing head of Ilanaaq, a stack of rock in human form. In the story of Akiak, the head of Ilanaaq has been stolen by a malevolent force, from whom our hero must retrieve the stone and return it to its rightful place. Akiak snowboards, skis, jumps and skeleton-bobs to overcome obstacles in his path, such as crevasses, snow storms and dangerous wolves before using a curling stone to free Ilanaaq’s head and re-build the stone marker.

Inuit village in BBC Winter Olympics TV advert

Akiak showcases a number of Olympic sports as he searches the land around the Canadian host city to complete his task. Akiak is a legendary Inuit, a member of the indigenous population who inhabit the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland, Russia and the United States of America. His name means “brave” in his native language. Ilanaaq, the Inuit word for “friend”, is the emblem of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and is a contemporary interpretation of an inukshuk.

Vancouver 2010 Inukshuk

Inukshuk are land markers. Their early incarnations were a single, upright stones, but they have evolved into more elaborate stacks of rock built in the form of a human. They are normally built at good hunting places and have been extremely important for Inuit survival over many thousands of years.

Akiak will accompany all the action across BBC Sport on TV, on radio and online.

Animation was produced at Studio AKA by director and designer Marc Craste in collaboration with designer Jon Klassen and producer Sharon Titmarsh.