FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The 59th annual World Eskimo Indian Olympics began Wednesday with competitors displaying their preparedness for survival. While the games have been a part of their culture for centuries, the first WEIO games took place in 1961 in Fairbanks.
Opening the historic event was the scissor broad jump.
In the men's division, Nick Hanson, who is known as the Eskimo Ninja, took home the gold with a leap of 37 feet and 1 and a half inches, two feet further than the next competitor.
On the woman's side, Alexandria Ivonoff of Unalakleet took the crown, jumping a total distance of 27 feet and one inches to beat out Emily King.
In other finals competitions Wednesday, the kneel jump also took place. In the woman's division, it was once again a battle between King and Ivanoff. In this event, Emily King of Whitehorse, edged out Ivanoff with a distance of 42 and a half inches. On the men's side, Kyle Worl of Juneau leaped 60 and a half inches, beating out Austin Sumdum of Anchorage.
For the night cap, Stanley Riley broke the all-time record for the four man carry. Riley traveled a distance of 334 feet and 3 and a half inches, more than 100 feet further than the next opponent.
In the one-hand reach, a pair of Wasilla contestants took home gold. Camille Bernard took the crown in the women's division, while Bernard Clark proved victorious on the men's side.
As for the race of the torch, Galena resident Dion Susook finished in 18 minutes and 36 seconds for gold, while Dawn Dinwoodie of Anchorage finished first on the women's side at 23:29
Day two WEIO continued Thursday, with more medals being handed out.
Earlier in the day, Julee-Anna Van Velzor of Chugiak took home the gold in the Eskimo Stick Pull, while Sido Evans captured first in the men's division.
Later in the afternoon, Kyle Worl of Juneau took another crown. Worl traveled 77 and a half inches in the greased pole walk, more than twice the distance of the second place finisher.
In the women's division, it was Adriana Johnston from Eagle River who got first with a distance of 46 inches.
For Friday, the Indian Pull begins at 10 a.m. followed by the ear pull. Other finals competition include the two-foot high kick, the blanket toss, a seal cutting contest, and drop the bomb.