• World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Matthew Sido Evans works toward a first place finish in the four-man carry finals late Wednesday. In this strength contest, athletes carry four volunteers, who each weigh about 150 pounds, for distance around the court. Matthew Sido Evans holds the WEIO record.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Amber Vaska of Fairbanks comes up a little short on a two-foot high kick at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 21, 2017.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Linc Qimiq and Leroy Shangin compete against one another. Qimiq won first place, and Shagin took second in ear pull. The ear pull contest measured the participants’ ability to withstand pain. Contestants loop their ears with a thin line of simulated sinew and pull straight back.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Chris Kalmakoff’s ear is compressed in the ear pull competition. The ear pull contest measured the participants’ ability to withstand pain. Contestants loop their ears with a thin line of simulated sinew and pull straight back.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Chelsea Morrow, of Fairbanks, flies through the air during a preliminary round of the women’s blanket toss at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 21, 2017.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    One-year-old Brooklin Jimmie is prepared for the baby regalia competition by Darla Jimmie, left, and Jamie Bridges at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics Native on July 20, 2017. Mandy Sullivan, who was the event’s emcee, said the designs are judged on the materials used, the craftsmanship of the garment and the crowd’s reaction.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Merna Wharton slices into the seal. Seven women competed in the seal skinning contest at World Eskimo Indian Olympics on July 21, 2017.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Valerie Pingayak, of Fairbanks, wipes her bloody hands on a towel and wipes sweat from her face after skinning a seal at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 21, 2017.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    WEIO athlete Erica Meckel, of Fairbanks, has a one-foot high kick-themed tattoo on her leg. She was a finalist in the two-foot high kick at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 21, 2017.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Tim Field, of Las Vegas, tries to break his own one-foot high kick record at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 22, 2017. He won the event at 116 inches, but missed after the ball was set two inches higher.

  • World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

    Sharlane King, of Tacoma, Washington, catches her breath after her knuckle hop. She was one of just a few women to compete in the event which is traditionally all men.


The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in July 2017, is an annual four-day competition that traces its history back to 1961. Now, it includes 21 competitive events that test pain endurance, athletic skill and traditional technique, most born of the survival skills integral to the history of rural Alaska and its Native people.