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Athletes compete from the ground up

By Heather Hintze 6:16 PM March 19, 2014

Alaskan high kick competitors have to hold one foot with their hand and try to kick a ball with the other foot.

FAIRBANKS – The Alaskan high kick isn’t your average kicking game — athletes actually start by sitting on the ground.

“It’s difficult to find your distance to the target and to get yourself lined up properly to make that kick, to get on that shoulder and get your hips up,” said Meika McDonald, the Arctic Winter Games international treasurer.

Competitors have to hold one foot with their hand while they put all their weight on their other hand and reach up to kick a suspended ball.

“Your palm has to be flat on the floor and you have to keep your balance for at least three seconds after your kick,” explained Veronica McDonald, Meika’s daughter.

Like other Arctic sports at the Arctic Winter Games, competing is a tradition that’s been passed down through the generations.

“I grew up watching my mother do it, so it kind inspired me when I was a little girl to be like my mother,” Veronica said. “I like this sport because it takes a lot of athletic ability to be able to do these events.”

The athletes said they hope to inspire others to continue the spirit of the competition for years to come.

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