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 highlight of the four-day competition. Several athletes said WEIO is about more than just the thrill of victory.

“My family’s participating and I get to be a part of it,” said Crystal Worl, who is among the Native athletes who made organizers of the games also feel like winners.

“Last year was kind of lower number, due to many different reasons, work, finances, family commitments,” said WEIO vice-chairman Sam Strange on the final day of competition.

Each night of WEIO featured plenty of Native music and dances to entertain the crowd. It’s part of the effort to promote the culture to fans and athletes.

“I’m one of the WEIO babies, so, it’s really special to be included and a part of the community,” Worl said as she waited to compete int the Bench Reach.

Both Worl and Strick plan to take part in next year’s competition.

Organizers will start planning the 2016 WEIO in October.

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