• WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, ear pull

    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.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, knuckle hop

    Jose Casados III performs in knuckle hop, an event in which competitors propel themselves with only their toes and fists touching the ground while holding a straight pose, on July 22, 2017.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks

    Autumn Ridley of Anchorage soars during a preliminary round of women’s blanket toss. The 2017 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics opened at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks on July 19, 2017. The annual four-day competition traces its history back to 1961. Now, it includes 21 competitive events and a few demonstrations, most born of the survival skills integral to the history of rural Alaska and its Native people.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, two-foot high kick

    Amber Vaska of Fairbanks comes up a little short on a kick. Sharlane King, of Tacoma, Washington, and Andrew Kashevarof, of Anchorage, claimed first place medals in the two-foot high kick at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 21, 2017.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, fish cutting

    A competitor takes a breath after completing her cut. Ariella Derrickson set a record in fish cutting at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 20, 2017. She cut a chum salmon in 27.61 seconds. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Native baby regalia

    One-year-old Brooklin Jimmie is prepared for the baby regalia competition by Darla Jimmie, left, and Jamie Bridges.Youngsters modeled fur and skin outfits during the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics Native baby regalia competition 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.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, arm pull

    Seven-month-old Amelia Steele plays with her mother’s medal, as Chelsea Morrow waits to compete in arm pull at World Eskimo Indian Olympics on July 22, 2017. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, seal skinning

    Merna Wharton slices into the seal with an ulu during the seal skinning copetition on July 21, 2017.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks

    Matthew Sido Evans works toward a first place finish in the four-man carry finals late Wednesday. He’s lifting about 600 pounds of men and testing how far he can carry them.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Native dance

    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.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, tattoo

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

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Native dance

    Tim Field talks with fellow competitor Nick Hanson, left, after just missing a world-record in one-foot high kick at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 22, 2017.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, ear pull

    Andrew Kashevarof, of Anchorage, competes in the 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.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Native dance

    Attendees gather to dance on the floor as the Statewide Dance Group performs an invitational song at World Eskimo Indian Olympics on July 22, 2017.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, knuckle hop

    Kyle Worl hugs a fellow competitor with hands that show the punishment that competitors endure in knuckle hop on July 22, 2017.

  • WEIO, World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, Carlson Center, Fairbanks, knuckle hop

    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. Knuckle hop at World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on July 22, 2017. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)


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.