The Cook Inlet Tribal Council hosted the 2022 Native Youth Olympics Senior Games and the traditional team and individual awards have been officially made public.
Winning the best overall team award went to the Lower Kuskokwim All Stars. The team was represented by Kyra John of Kwigillingoak and Michael Flynn of Chefornak – Kneel Jump, Devon Mann of Kipnuk and Crystal Moses of Toksook Bay – Seal Hop, Michael Flynn of Chefornak and Crystal Moses of Toksook Bay – One Foot High Kick, Michael Flynn and Kyra John – Two Foot High Kick, Layla Kashatok of Kwigillingok and Aidan Sipary of Toksook Bay – Scissor Broad Jump, Jordan Lewis of Chefornak and Kyra John – Alaskan High Kick, Michael Flynn and Destiny Panruk of Chefornak – One Arm Reach, Johnelle Smith of Tuntutuliak and Evon Phillip of Kongiganak – Indian Stick Pull, Henry Kanuk of Chefornak and Summer Cartier of Toksook Bay – Eskimo Stick Pull, and Crystal Moses and Robert Jimmy of Chefornak – Wrist Carry.
Coaches for the LKSD All Stars were Jimmy Andrew of Tuntutuliak, Sheila Phillip of Kongiganak, and Robert Panruk of Chefornak.
For scoring 1st place is awarded 5 points, 2nd is 4 points, 3rd is 3 points, 4th is 2 points, and 5th is 1 point.
The Bethel Warriors won their first Banner Contest Award. Colton Paul of Kipnuk representing Mt. Edgecumbe High School was awarded the Best Overall Male Athlete award, which is named after Ben Snowball who was an important part of the beginnings of Native Youth Olympics and the state competition.
2022 NYO Awards
High-five Academic Excellence Award
•Team of 7 or less: Chickaloon
•Team of 8 or more: BSSD
Worl Family Scholarship
Mia Anderson – MEHS
Ben Snowball Individual Sportsmanship Award
•Male: Fayzon Lawrence – Seward
•Female: Eden Hopson – Anchorage
Gloria Walker Team Sportsmanship Award
Healthy Coach Award
Kyle Worl – Juneau
Best Team Banner
1st LKSD, 36 Points
2nd Tie: 32 Points
3rd BSSD A, 27 Points
4th Unalaska, 24 Points
5th Anch A, 22 Points
Ben Snowball Overall Athletes
•Male: Colton Paul – MEHS
•Female: Eden Hopson – Anch A
Here is how NYO makes a positive impact on our youth, as reported by CITCI.
“NYO Games Alaska is a year-round program that has a quantifiable positive impact on more than 2,000 youth each year. NYO influences our young people to improve academic performance, strengthen overall health and well-being, and instills important values, including leadership and respect—values that make strong communities and build tomorrow’s leaders,” said CITCI. “A 2021 survey emphasizing NYO’s impact was completed by 43 NYO athletes in grades 7-12. Here’s what we learned:”
63% credited NYO as an incentive to stay in school
79% expressed increased determination by participating in NYO
58% expressed a greater sense of well-being
85% see themselves as a role-model for future NYO athletes
93% learned about Alaska Native culture and values
91% developed new friendships with other athletes, coaches, and teachers
65% indicated they practice 4–6 hours per week