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  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    WEIO a family affair for athletes young and old

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 20, 11:24

    As World Eskimo-Indian Olympics athletes took the floor of the Carlson Center in Fairbanks for games like the toe kick and one hand reach, Carol Hull sat at her craft table chatting with passersby. She may not compete in the games any more, but Hull still has fond memories from her heyday as an athlete. […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    American Ninja Warrior competitor succeeds at WEIO

    by Jake Edmonds on Jul 19, 11:17

    The WEIO games wrapped up Saturday evening with the one-foot high kick, arm pull, ear weight and bench reach. Unalakleet’s Nick Hanson is no stranger to these games. The WEIO veteran earned three medals coming into Saturday and added to that total during the bench reach. Unlike most WEIO games, the bench reach has no […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Olympic spirit shines on last day of WEIO

    by Dave Leval on Jul 19, 10:39

    The 2015 World Eskimo Indian Olympics wrapped up Saturday night in Fairbanks. More than 150 Native athletes from Alaska, Canada and Greenland gathered at the Carlson Center to test their skills. “It’s been fun, I’ve enjoyed competing with and against my son,” said Robert Strick. “It’s been a blast seeing old friends.” The games are the […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    The confluence: Life, culture and teamwork at WEIO

    by Dave Goldman on Jul 17, 8:00

    It’s about team. And survival. Steeped in tradition, the World Eskimo-Indian Olympic games are a mix of competition and culture. And they’re both on display every time the participants step on the floor. There’s more to the four-man carry than how far one can walk with four people draped all over him/her. At 600 pounds, […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    WEIO games officially ‘kick off’

    by Jake Edmonds on Jul 16, 14:12

    The 2015 World Eskimo-Indian Olympic games are underway, and the first event of the games was the toe kick. Athletes had to jump from a standing position, brush their toes across a stick and land on both feet. Unalakleet’s Nick Hanson, who had competed on the show “American Ninja Warrior” earlier this year, was one […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Knuckle hop pushes competitors through the pain

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 21, 12:08

    It was the final and possibly most painful challenge of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics: the knuckle hop. The crowd cheered wildly as athletes dropped to the floor on just their knuckles and toes. The competitors hopped forward, emulating the way hunters used to get out on the ice to sneak up on seals. Nick Hansen, of […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Lifting lead: Ear weight competition tests athletes’ endurance

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 21, 7:21

    Leroy Shangin pushes through the pain. “Louder!” he shouts to the crowd cheering him on. “What keeps me going in this is not only myself but my family and the words of encouragement,” Shangin said. He walks around the track with 16 pounds of lead dangling from his ear. The Perryville native is one of […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    World Eskimo-Indian Olympics spotlights stiff competition with head pull

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 20, 18:03

    Talk about a pain in the neck! There was some stiff competition at the Carlson Center this weekend as women at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics squared off for the head pull. They positioned themselves up on their hands and toes with their backs arched. Officials placed a thick leather strap around both competitors’ necks. The […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    For World Eskimo-Indian Olympics contestant, seal skinning brings memories of home

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 19, 20:06

    It might be an unsettling sight for some but for Diane Dufour, skinning a seal is a celebration of culture and family. “My mom taught me how to cut up seals,” Dufour reminisced. “I was the only one she taught.” The Kaktovik native now lives in Fairbanks, where her only chance to practice her skills […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Excruciating ear pull challenge tests athletes’ limits

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 18, 23:05

    It’s not about strength, it’s about how much you can take. “It’s for the pain endurance,” said Michelle Strange. “I’m very competitive as well so I love it. And I apparently have really good ears to compete,” she laughed. The ear pull is not only one of the most painful games to play at the […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    The blanket toss: An uplifting experience

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 18, 21:51

    One competition at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics had athletes flying high. Thursday night the men competed in the first rounds of the blanket toss. They stood on an old walrus-skin blanket while dozens of pullers got them into a good rhythm. Then they soared into the air. The blanket toss has two traditional uses. One […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Tough competition: World Eskimo-Indian Olympics features muktuk contest

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 18, 9:30

    It’s a whale of a competition. “Muktuk eaters ready…set…go!” yelled the announcer. Not all the games at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics are about strength and agility; sometimes it’s just about how much you can stomach. Janie Snyder knows what it takes to win the muktuk eating contest. “A little chewing and swallowing whole if you can,” she divulged. […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Athletes tackle slick challenge at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 18, 6:39

    It’s a slippery spectacle. “It’s very slick, very hard to describe. Just a slick, smooth surface,” Sam Strange explained. Athletes do their best to cross a Crisco-covered pole at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics in Fairbanks. “Average lengths are about three to four feet. The pole is a 10-foot pole,” Strange said. “We do get guys […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Athletes get carried away at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 17, 20:15

    Not many athletes can lift 600 pounds. Even fewer can actually walk with that much weight. “It’s very exerting on the body, joints and back and spine,” explained Sam Strange. “This is to simulate carrying meat back to the village from long distances and what it took to get that meat back to the village.” […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Family members face off in Eskimo stick pull

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 17, 18:17

    It’s a hand-to-hand contest that brings family members face-to-face. “A lot of it is hand grip and using your legs and your back,” explained Christina Glenzel. The Eskimo stick pull had cousins squaring off and even mothers and daughters dueling for the title Thursday. “It’s really awesome,” said Christina’s mother, Amber Glenzel. “We’ve been competing […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    At World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, fish-cutting contest tests speed and skill

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 17, 9:08

    The reds are ready and so are the competitors. “You just cut so much fish at the beginning of summer when you’re doing humpies and putting fish away it just becomes a quick habit,” said World Eskimo-Indian Olympics competitor Davida Hansen. She’s last year’s returning champion in the WEIO fish-cutting contest, and she’s ready for a […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Crowds gather at Carlson Center to kick off World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 17, 8:13

    Like the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Wednesday night’s opening ceremony was a celebration of culture. The sound of Native drumming filled the Carlson Center while dancers took center stage. “It’s a time to meet new people and see old friends and be able to relax and still be uplifted by the energy of the drummers and […]

  • Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    World Eskimo-Indian Olympics athletes soar through competition

    by Heather Hintze on Jul 16, 21:25

    Getting from your knees to your feet in one quick jump sounds challenging. Athletes say it is — until you get the hang of it. “I went backwards when I first tried it,” said Fairbanks competitor Amber Vaska. “But now it’s like, ‘pssh, kneel jump, I could do that any day.’” Like many of the […]