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Every summer for the last 51 years the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics has
been the gathering place for world-class athletes from across the circumpolar
North. For time immemorial, the ancient games represented here, were an avenue
for distant villages to come together in friendly competition, entertainment
and laughter—and tomorrow, July 18th, the games begin!
WEIO is a
four-day series of traditional Native athletic competitions and dances held
annually at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. WEIO draws Native athletes
and dancers from around the state, the United States and Canada, as well as
visitors, fans and media from around the globe.
WEIO is a time
to don parkas and moosehide dresses, mukluks and moccasins to compete in parka
and Indian dress contests and to dance and tell stories through songs and
motion. Dressed in kuspuks—traditional
summer parkas—complete with feathered fans and drums, dancers perform
throughout the four-day Olympics. WEIO is a chance for visitors and locals to see
unparalleled feats of endurance and agility.
metals and champions crowned, WEIO is a celebration of survival—with an ancient
theme of mental and physical toughness, cooperation and reverence. These
athletes are not just athletes—they’re practitioners of an ancient culture. And
with each high kick, ear pull and knuckle hop they’re ensuring its survival.
To learn more
about the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics visit their website.
-Elisabeth Dabney and Bill Wright
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