Upcoming Native Youth Olympics events in Ketchikan postponed due to COVID-19

Kyle Worl demonstrates the One Foot High Kick, and event in the Native Youth Olympics. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)
Kyle Worl demonstrates the One Foot High Kick, an event in the Native Youth Olympics in 2017. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

This weekend’s upcoming Native Youth Olympics Traditional Games in Ketchikan have been postponed. That’s after Ketchikan’s school district announced a cluster of at least five new cases of COVID-19 among people who attended a high school wrestling tournament, the prom and an after-party.

The 10-event Native Youth Games includes tests of strength, agility, balance, endurance and focus. They’re based on hunting and survival skills of Alaska’s Indigenous peoples.

Organizer Sealaska Heritage Institute said Wednesday it hopes to reschedule the Ketchikan event next month. A firm date has not been set.

Ketchikan High School was closed Wednesday to allow time for contact tracing and cleaning. The school’s principal said Wednesday afternoon that Kayhi would remain closed for the rest of the week after a new case of COVID-19 related to the cluster was reported.

SHI’s northern Native Youth Olympics scheduled for May 8 and 9 in Juneau are still planned to proceed as scheduled.

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