FAIRBANKS, AK-One of the big events on the Fairbanks Calendar is the WEIO games but this weekend some of the younger athletes are gearing up for the Native Youth Olympics next month.
Effie Kokrine Charter School is sponsoring a NYO competition this weekend in the seal hop, two foot high kick, and other events to help prepare the Randy Smith and Lathrop NYO teams for the state competition on April 25th in Anchorage.
These events pass on the athletic native traditions and Lathrop sophomore Sean Nickoli has been learning and improving from a year ago.
"Already I'm excelling great, greatly, since last year. So it's just all the work is equal to paying off, competing in front of family and friends," Nickoli said.
Erica Meckel, a native games athlete, loves that these athletes are starting early.
"It was hard getting on, a late start, and so now I can get these guys started earlier it's something that they're gonna be able to carry on a lot longer and hopefully pass on to other people," Meckel said.
Lathrop's NYO coach, Emily Leon, believes that these games pay homage to the native culture. Leon said, "All of these games are just, um, a tribute to the, to the native way of live and to everyone."