• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 5s

Tough competition: World Eskimo-Indian Olympics features muktuk contest

By Heather Hintze 9:30 AM July 18, 2014
FAIRBANKS –

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.

The 67-year-old Barrow resident has competed in the event for more than two decades. Competitors are tasked with eating a two-inch-by-three-inch piece of blubber and skin from a bowhead whale.

Muktuk is an Alaska Native staple, though Janie finds this batch a bit bland.

“We prefer salt,” she said matter-of-factly. “It tastes like seafood. Any seafood. It’s better than shrimp. ”

Ulus worked frantically as competitors cut it up so it’s easier to swallow.

“I’m doing good,” said Vanessa Tahbone from Nome. “I got pretty close. Tastes delicious!”

A couple minutes in and Janie was feeling good, though she couldn’t tell you that with her mouth full.

“Mmm…mmmm,” she mumbled.

Just a few more muktuk morsels and she was ready to wrap up the competition.

She set her ulu down, stretched her arms out and opened her mouth wide so the judges could see it’s all gone.

“I did it,” she laughed. “I did it.”

Latest Stories

  • Weather

    Another round of snow across Alaska: Winter weather advisories in effect

    by Melissa Frey on Jan 15, 21:14

    The next storm system to impact Southcentral, southeast and interior Alaska is moving into Prince William Sound Sunday night. Here’s how this storm will affect each region: Southcentral Snow showers started picking up Sunday evening and will continue to fall overnight through early afternoon on Monday. Most of the area is under a winter weather […]

  • Sports

    Basketball team from Florida travels to Alaska

    by John Thompson on Jan 15, 19:18

    When the Riverview Rams boys basketball team boarded a plane in Sarasota, Florida, they had no idea what what was waiting for them in Alaska. Most players had never seen snow, and some had never flown on a plane. Riverview Rams of Sarasota, FL basketball team explore AK Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage @airlinesclassic #AAClassic17 […]

  • News

    Chalkyitsik, Fort Yukon tribes celebrate historic land-use plan

    by Rhonda McBride on Jan 15, 18:35

    As one tribal leader put it: The land is our culture and our culture is the land. That’s why two interior Alaska tribes in Chalkyitsik and Fort Yukon celebrated historic land-use agreements with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that were more than eight years in the making. The BLM land-use plan covers about 6.5 […]

  • News

    ‘Positive and happy’: Friend describes woman found dead in her vehicle

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 15, 16:28

    Two communities are mourning the loss of a young woman from Nome, who, after being reported missing, was found dead in an Anchorage parking lot. Martina Painter, 25, was found inside her car Thursday afternoon near University Lake, according to police. Police said a family member reported her missing in Anchorage Wednesday night when she didn’t […]

  • News

    Delta flight makes unexpected landing in Cold Bay, FAA points to engine trouble

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 15, 14:01

    Last updated at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15 ANCHORAGE — A Delta Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Cold Bay Saturday morning after experiencing what an aviation official described as engine trouble. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer confirmed the flight’s detour, but couldn’t elaborate further about what was wrong with the plane. […]

  • Lifestyle

    ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’: Ringling Brothers circus to end after 146 years

    by KTVA / AP on Jan 15, 12:57

    The owners of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced Saturday that they will close the 146-year-old show in May. Kenneth Feld, the chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus, said declining attendance combined with high operating costs are among the reasons for closing. “There isn’t any one thing,” Feld told […]

  • Guests at Dimond Center Hotel details late-night shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 15, 12:11

    Last updated at 11:40 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15 ANCHORAGE — Multiple shots were fired outside the Dimond Center Hotel Saturday night, striking the north side of the building and breaking at least one window. Anchorage police issued a dispatch about the shooting at 11:25 p.m., saying they had responded to the scene of the […]

  • Politics

    Alaska legislators see urgency in budget work but face rifts

    by Associated Press on Jan 15, 11:39

    Alaska legislators agree on the need to address the state’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit. But rifts remain over how best to do that, with divisions forming over taxes, how much to keep cutting spending and whether the state needs to tinker with Alaskans’ beloved yearly oil wealth check. A new 90-day legislative session begins Tuesday. Many […]