FAIRBANKS – Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) will welcome athletes to Fairbanks during the opening ceremonies of the 53rd World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (WEIO) on Wednesday, July 16, at 6:00pm at the Carlson Center.
“The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics are an incredibly special event to celebrate not only athleticism, but also heritage and culture,” Rep. Kawasaki said. “I am honored to help welcome athletes from across the Arctic to Fairbanks for four days of friendship and competition.”
The first World Eskimo-Indian Olympics was held in 1961 in Fairbanks and was a tremendous success. The competition celebrates the skills and techniques necessary for Native peoples of the circumpolar north to survive in the harsh and unforgiving climate. Games such as the “seal hop” and “kneel jump” derive from skills needed to hunt and maneuver on the ice floes of arctic waters. Additionally, the “ear pull” and “drop the bomb” test competitors’ endurance and pain tolerance, abilities necessary for thriving through long winters and surviving in harsh environments.
“I’m always amazed at the feats of our athletes who seem to shatter world records at nearly every competition,” Rep. Kawasaki said. “I first came to WEIO as a young Fairbanksan and have returned each year to witness history in the making.”
WEIO begins at 10:00am on Wednesday, July 16, and continues until Saturday, July 19, with the closing of the games at 6pm. For a complete guide of WEIO events, please visit https://www.weio.org/PDF/2014_WEIO_Schedule_Events.pdf.