It's a celebration of culture, community, and competition. The 2018 Senior Native Youth Olympics Alaska Games commenced at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage on Thursday. Governor Bill Walker was one of many dignitaries that welcomed over 600 athletes from communities across the state, set to compete in traditional Alaska Native games.

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Following the opening ceremony, athletes got right into competition with the Kneel Jump, Wrist Carry, and Alaskan High Kick.

Competitors will also engage in the Eskimo Stick Pull, One-Hand Reach, Seal Hop, and Two-Foot High Kick among other events, all simulating traditional native values and skills.

The NYO Games encourage the youth of Alaska to develop healthy lifestyles, teamwork and leadership, and good sportsmanship while connecting different cultures through education and activity. The 2018 games wrap up Saturday evening in Anchorage.

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