The University of Alaska Southeast will be hosting the Native Olympics this Saturday at the UAS Recreation Center. Yesterday, as preparation for the competition, representatives from the University and the community organized a demonstration of the events.
One of the demonstration’s leaders and UAS academic advisor Quentin Simeon says students will participate in several of the native games.
“The Eskimo stick pull, the Indian stick pull, the wrist carry, the scissor broad jump, the one foot high kick, the two foot high kick, the Alaskan high kick, leg wrestling, Indian leg wrestling, so those are the main ones we’re going to be highlighting on Saturday.”
Fellow demonstration leader Ricardo Worl hopes people will attend so they can learn about the games’ significance.
“They originated from the northern part of Alaska probably more than 2,000 years ago. The Eskimo and Indian people from the interior of Alaska created a series of games to teach their kids important survival skills.”
Simeon says onlookers will see a unique kind of contest.
“They help each other. It’s a different flavor of competition and so even if you’re like running head to head with somebody you will see that they will share their experiences, they will give each other advice, they will say you were running too fast when you were going up for that kick so you’re floating. You can see that competition, but it’s camaraderie at the same time, and it’s just a beautiful thing to see with the kids.”
The games begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the UAS Recreation Center.