51st World Eskimo Indian Olympics Begins July 18, 2012
Fairbanks, Alaska (AK) — The 51st World Eskimo-Indian Olympic Games (WEIO) will take place at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, July 18-21, 2012. WEIO is a four-day series of traditional Alaska Native athletic competitions and dances. WEIO draws Native athletes and dancers from around the state, the United States and Canada, as well as visitors, fans and media from around the globe.
The competitions at the Olympics not only provide entertainment, but give men and women the chance to test their strength, discipline and endurance—all qualities that are needed to survive in a northern rural environment. Based on the results of the Native Youth Olympics held in Anchorage earlier this year, event organizers expect a high level of competition and many records to be broken.
WEIO is also a time to don parkas, moosehide dresses and vests, mukluks and moccasins to compete in parka and Indian dress contests and to dance and tell stories through songs and motion. Dressed in kuspuks—traditional summer parkas—complete with feathered fans and drums, dancers perform throughout the four-day Olympics. WEIO gives visitors a chance to see unparalleled feats of endurance and agility. Spectators and participants will see new vendors and artists as they browse through booths of authentic Alaska Native crafts, and meet the people who carved, sewed, wove or beaded the items.