- Published on Sunday, 06 July 2014
- Written by Alaska Magazine
The World Eskimo Indian Olympics (WEIO) started in the early 1960s as a way for people living in the circumpolar areas of the world to gather and practice survival skills applicable to a life of subsistence.
The games will take place at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks from July 16-19. With competitions like the Knuckle Hop, Four Man Carry, Ear Pull, and One-foot High Kick, athletes demonstrate their power and tolerance to pain through activities rooted in ancestral hunting and survival techniques. During the four-days of traditional Alaska Native athletic competitions and dances, WEIO draws Native athletes and dancers from around the state, as well as the country, in addition to visitors, fans and media from around the globe.
The event is an entertaining show with participants dancing and telling stories through songs and motion, while dressed in don parkas, moosehide dresses and vests, mukluks and moccasins to compete in parka and Indian dress contests. Many are dressed in kuspuks, the traditional summer parkas—complete with feathered fans and drums, dancers perform throughout the four-day Olympics. WEIO gives visitors a chance to see unparalleled feats of endurance and agility. Spectators and participants can browse through booths of Alaska Native crafts, and meet the people who carved, sewed, wove or beaded the items.
To learn more about the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics visit the website www.weio.org or “like” them on Facebook. For information on the Fairbanks region as a visitor destination, go to www.explorefairbanks.com.