WEIO promotes culture and connections

by Greg Lincoln

The World Eskimo Indian Olympics took place last week in Fairbanks, Alaska. Above are the winners for the Eskimo Cloth Regalia contest. From left are Corrine Danner of Utqiagvik, Adelle Hansen of Fairbanks, Adeline Moses of Toksook Bay, and Lauryn Hansen of Fairbanks. Photo by Greg Lincoln

The 2022 World Eskimo Indian Olympics is in the books. Congratulations to all of the participants and to the event organizers for a successful event. WEIO showcases our native cultures, arts and craftsmanship, strength, skill and endurance, and song and dance.

Some of the games overlap with Native Youth Olympics. We were happy to see some of our region’s NYO athletes participating at WEIO.

Colton Paul of Kipnuk is midjump during the Men’s Alaskan High Kick event at the World Eskimo Indian Olympics in Fairbanks at the Big Dipper Ice Arena last weekend. He won the gold medal with a final kick of 96″. photo by Greg Lincoln

Athletes hailed from all over Alaska including Anchorage, Wasilla, Nome, Juneau, Kenai, Chenega, Bethel, Teller, Winslow Arizona, Kotzebue, Palmer, Kongiganak, Kipnuk, Savoonga, Barrow, Anaktuvuk Pass, Toksook Bay, and many other places.

Team Juneau sent a contingent of 22 athletes and coaches this year, thanks to a last minute funder who donated so the team could go, said Coach Kyle Worl.

Also participating in the games was America Ninja Warrior Isaiah Waghiyi – a St. Lawrence Island Yup’ik from Savoonga, fresh off of his inaugural performance on the American Ninja Warrior course. He said that he will be back to try again on the ANW show next season.

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy was mingling in the WEIO crowd along with First Lady Rose who is from Noorvik. They each addressed those in attendance. And on another day we saw former Governor Bill Walker and his entourage. They participated in the invitational dances on the floor.

Good job Colton Paul of Kipnuk, the 2022 NYO Overall Athlete – he won several WEIO medals.

This year there were only two Miss WEIO queen contestants – Miss Top of the World Michelle Uyumgaq Kaleak, a 2nd grade teacher from Utqiagvik and Miss Arctic Circle Claire Tatqiq Nay of Kotzebue. Michelle Kaleak was crowned the new Miss WEIO for 2022.

The WEIO Board and Chair Gina Kalloch honored the Volunteers of the Year awardees – Mark and Laura Raifsnider and their daughter – who came all the way from Pennsylvania to help at the event. This is their 5th year of volunteering, quyana for your service.

And coming home will be our very own Kelly Lincoln, the new world record holder for fish cutting. Congratulations! Several other records were broken in the Swing Kick Event. Eden Hopson of Anchorage set the new ladies record at 56”. And for the men there was a tie with Bernard Clark of Wasilla and Peter Griggs of Anchorage setting the new record for the men at 64”.

This year WEIO took place at the Big Dipper Ice Arena, the original home of WEIO. Some of the events took place in the outdoor field under the tents. The Race of the Torch was a scenic 5K race that began and ended at the Big Dipper.

We enjoy visiting the Golden Heart City where folks don’t drive too fast and everyone is very friendly. We were thankful it wasn’t too hot or smoky but nice and cool. Quyana to our host family the Hansens for all your wonderful hospitality and great food and company. Congratulations to our athletes for representing your homelands and people, good job everyone.

2022 WEIO Games Results

Toe Kick


1st Eden Hopson, Anch 46”

2nd Teyah Clark, Wasilla 34”

3rd Amber Vaska, Fbks 22”


1st Parker Kenick, Nome 60”

2nd Jens Irelan, Nome 56” 6 misses

3rd Kyle Worl, Juneau 56” 7 misses

Four Man Carry

1st Walter Hawkins, Anch 78’6”

2nd Judah Eason, Kenai 5’4 ½”

Kneel Jump


1st Amber Vaska, Fbka 44 ½”

2nd Eden Hopson, Anch 34”

3rd Alyssa Clark, Anch 27 ½”


1st Austin Sumdum, Anch 51”

2nd Kyle Worl, Juneau 50”

3rd Joseph Cross, Chenega 45 ¾”

One Hand Reach


1st Eden Hopson, Anch 58”

2nd JoBeth Stuart, Bethel 56”

3rd Lauryn Garnie, Teller 55”


1st Bernard Clark, Wasilla 70”

2nd Virgil Kapotak, Anch 64”

3rd Kyle Worl, Juneau 60”

Race of the Torch


1st Awaluk Nichols, Nome 24:33

2nd Leo McNaughton, Juneau 34:33

3rd Kelly Lincoln, Bethel 39:10


1st Elliott Evans, Fbks 19:27

2nd Levi Olin, Winslow 20:50

3rd Paris Hebel, Nome 20:53

Fish Cutting

1st Kelly Lincoln, Bethel 26:85 sec New World Record

2nd Marjorie Tahbone, Nome 29:92 sec

3rd Siikauraq Whiting, Kotz 48:68 sec

Blanket Toss


1st Marjorie Tahbone

2nd Eden Hopson, Anch

3rd Teyah Clark, Wasilla


1st Dustin Phipps, Fbks

2nd Reggie Joule IV, Anch

3rd Joseph Cross, Chenega

Inuit Stick Pull


1st Julee-Anna Preuit, Anch

2nd Michelle Wardlow, Kenai

3rd Diane DuFour, Fbks


1st David Lee Edwards, Fbks

2nd Iosefa Allen, Juneau

3rd Scott Thacker, Fbks

Alaskan High Kick


1st Eden Hopson, Anch 72”

2nd JoBeth Stuart, Bethel 64”

3rd Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, Palmer 62”


1st Colton Paul, Kipnuk 90”

2nd Ezra Elisoff, Juneau 86”

3rd Kyle Kanuk, Kongiganak 84”

Greased Pole Walk


1st Kiana Allen, Juneau 60”

2nd Awaluk Nichols, Nome 48 ½”

3rd Asaaluk Nichols, Nome 47 ¾”


1st Colton Paul, Kipnuk 39”

2nd Isaiah Waghiyi, Savoonga 35”

3rd Kyle Worl, Juneau 26 ¼”

Maktak Eating

1st Joseph Cross, Chenega 1 min 10 secs

2nd Chris Kalmakoff, Anch 1 min 13 secs

3rd Corinne Danner, Barrow 1 min 17 secs

Dena Stick Pull


1st Marjorie Tahbone, Nome

2nd Helen John, Juneau

3rd Kiana Allen, Juneau


1st Ezra Elisoff, Juneau

2nd Leroy Shangin, Anch

3rd Chris Kalmakoff, Anch

Drop the Bomb

1st Kyle Worl, Juneau 101’ 10 ½”

2nd Isaiah Waghiyi, Savoonga 49’ ½”

3rd Paris Hebel, Nome 37 ½”

Regalia (36 mos – 99yo)

Eskimo Cloth

1st Adelle Nakrialnguq Hansen, Fbks

2nd Corrine Danner, Barrow

3rd (tie) Lauryn Panruk Hansen, Fbks

Adeline Moses, Toksook Bay

Eskimo Fur

1st Corrine Danner, Barrow

2nd Letha Chimegalrea Simon, Bethel

3rd Ruth Black, Anch

Ear Pull


1st Auna Reed-Lewis, Palmer

2nd Michelle Wardlow, Kenai

3rd Nicole Johnson, Nome


1st Frank Lane, Kotz

2nd Leroy Shangin, Anch

3rd Paris Hebel, Nome

Two Foot High Kick


1st (tie) Eden Hopson, Anch 69”

Amber Vaska, Fbks 69”

3rd Auna Reed-Lewis, Palmer 64”


1st Colton Paul, Kipnuk 96”

2nd Kyle Worl, Juneau 94”

3rd Bernard Clark, Wasilla 90”

Seal Skinning

1st Marjorie Tahbone, Nome 2 min 16 sec

2nd Diane DuFour, Fbks 4 min 23 sec

3rd Isaiah Waghiyi, Savoonga 5 min 10 sec

Swing Kick


1st Eden Hopson, Anch 56” New World Record

2nd Tria Bowers, Juneau 46”

3rd Amber Vaska, Fbks 42”


1st Bernard Clark, Wasilla 64” 1m New World Record

2nd Peter Griggs, Anch 64” 3m New World Record

3rd Kyle Worl, Juneau 60”

Head Pull


1st Amber Vaska, Fbks

2nd Michelle Wardlow, Kenai

3rd Julee-Anna Preuit, Anch


1st Iosefa Allen, Juneau

2nd Scott Thacker, Fbks

3rd Kyle Worl, Juneau

One Foot High Kick AK Style


1st Amber Vaska, Fbks 64”

2nd Misty Wilmarth-Agoff, Palmer 64” 1m

3rd Eden Hopson, Anch 60”


1st Ezra Elisoff, Juneau 98”

2nd Alexavier Covey, Anch 94”

3rd Kyle Worl, Juneau 94” 1m

Ear Weight

1st Leroy Shangin, Anch 785’ 4 ½”

2nd Frank Lane, Kotz 763’ 3”

3rd Frank L. Lane, Kotz 77’ 8 ½”

Knuckle Hop

1st Kyle Worl, Juneau 170’ 1 ¼”

2nd Isaiah Waghiyi, Savoonga 88’ 7 ½”

3rd Elliott Evans, Fbks 84’ 11 ½”