Tahbone wows with backflip in women's blanket toss

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The 59th annual World Eskimo Indian Olympics continued Friday with more medals being dished out.

In the evening events, winners were tabbed in the two foot high kick and the women's blanket toss. In the two foot high kick, it was Stuart Towarak reaching a height of 98 inches, to top Kyle Worl. of Juneau's, 95 inches. On the women's side, Emily King took yet another crown, reaching 70 inches in the two foot high kick to take gold. Alexandria Ivanoff, of Unalakleet and Sara Steeves placed silver and bronze respectively.

It is women's blanket toss, history was on display. Majorie Tahbone, of Nome, completed a sucessful back flip, just the second woman to do so at the games according to WEIO officials. Amanda Phipps of Fairbanks and Teyah Clark of Wasilla took second and third. The blanket toss uses the help of over 50 volunteers to launch the competitor in the air, traditionally using a blanket made of seal or walrus skin.

In medals handed out Saturday, Sido Evans and Nicole Johnston took home the gold in the arm pull.

For the bench reach, it was none other than Emily King taking gold with a distance of 31 and a half inches, with Crystal Worl placing second.
For the men, it was Nick Hanson claiming the victory with a reach of 45 and three quarter inches.
Hanson is known around Alaska as the "Eskimo Ninja" after competing in NBC's popular obstacle course show, American Ninja Warrior. Hanson has been around these games for many years, and loves when this time of year comes around.

"It is like coming home to family, every single year. Each and every one of us, we love each other so much, we want each other to do our best and we watch each other other grow over the years, and that's what it's really all about," Hanson said. "That's the best feeling in the world. I have coached four or five of these athletes that are out here, and now they are beating me in events. It is really fun to watch them grow and become the new leaders. As I age, and as all of us age, someone has got to take over and they are taking over in a good way. They are making it better, getting stronger, kicking higher, and it just has been a blast to watch."

As the games conclude Saturday night, with final medals will be handed out in several events, including the one foot high kick, the ear weight competition, the knuckle jump and the men's blanket toss.