by Delta Discovery Staff
The 2019 World Eskimo Indian Olympics is in the books!
This annual event held in Fairbanks, Alaska in July is an event that showcases the different cultures, song and dance, and traditional games of the native peoples of the north.
On opening day Wednesday the 5K Race of the Torch took place on the traditional route alongside the Chena River. Fans did not have long to wait. Only 18 minutes and 36 seconds later the winner for the men – Dion Sussook of Galena crossed the finish line.
Winning for the women was Dawn Dinwoodie of Anchorage. Dinwoodie finished in 23:29. Dinwoodie was pleased with her win and is a past champion approximately 20 years ago at this same event.
The day was blazing hot, reaching a high of 78 degrees making it very hot for the racers. Some finishers waded into the nearby Chena River to cool off.
The winners of the race had the honor of presenting the Torch during the opening ceremonies to light the traditional seal oil lamp.
The games are hosted by the World Eskimo Indian Olympics board of directors, volunteers, and businesses and organizations and the host community of Fairbanks. An army of seasoned judges helped officiate the games and made sure that everything ran smoothly.
The festivities continued on Wednesday with the traditional opening ceremonies, welcome speeches, the parade of athletes and participants, the arts and crafts sale, and ended on Saturday with the Knuckle Hop as the final event.
There were several athletes from the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region that participated at WEIO this year. Lorraine Tom of Chefornak, the current Miss Cama-i, was crowned the 2019 Miss WEIO on Friday night.
Sophie Swope of Bethel placed second in the One Hand Reach with a height of 56” and also second in the Muktuk Eating Contest. This was the first time Swope participated in the Muktuk Eating Contest.
Other participants included Kwigillingok’s Native Youth Olympics stars Arnold Phillip and Merlin White. Phillip placed third in the Indian Stick Pull. White placed second in Drop the Bomb.
Anaktuvuk Pass’s Stanley Riley set a new record in the 4-Man Carry. He carried four men of approximately 150 lbs. each a distance of 334′ 3 ½”, setting a new world record.
Riley also won the Muktuk Eating Contest.
The whale muktuk for the contest was generously donated by Gordon Brower of Barrow and his “Ikayuaq” Crew. Brower’s 17 year old son Bradley Brower harpooned the 54’ 4” bowhead whale. It was his first whale catch.
Chevak’s Casey Ferguson took gold in the Alaskan High Kick and third in the 2 Foot High Kick.
Christian Paul of Kipnuk/Barrow took third in the Kneel Jump with a distance 57 ¼”.
Traditional dancers clad in their dance regalia from Johnson O’Malley, Minto, and Nome filled the Carlson Center with song and dance during breaks. Volunteers entertained the crowd with game and skill demonstrations.
Tables filled with exquisite and intricate works of native art and craftsmanship kept craft seekers busy. There was something for everyone – ivory and wood carvings, fur and skin clothing items, uluaqs, jewelry of all kinds, beaded items, qaspeqs, fried bread, drum sets, drawings, jams and jellies, healing salves, and parkas with beautiful ruffs.
Vendors for local businesses and organizers were also well-represented along with WEIO themed apparel sales. Visitors from all over the world attended the games and events.
2019 WEIO Results
Race of the Torch
1st: Dawn Dinwoodie, Anchorage, 23 mins 29 sec
2nd: Sidney Isom, Lake Minchumina, 23 mins 35 sec
3rd: Maxine Dilbert, Fairbanks, 24 mins 59 sec
1st: Dion Sussook, Galena, 18 mins 36 sec
2nd: Sheldon Albert, Ruby, 19 mins 9 sec
3rd: Preston Silas, Fairbanks, 19 mins 46 sec
Drop the Bomb
1st: Tim Field, Las Vegas 68’ 8”
2nd: Merlin White, Kwigillingok 47’ ½”
3rd: Bryan Johnson, Juneau 44’ ¾”
1st: Marjorie Tahbone, Nome, 1 min 52.31 sec
2nd: Kelly Lincoln, Bethel, 2 mins 6.69 sec
3rd: Mary Kakoona, Shishmaref, 2 mins 21.23 sec
1st: Marjorie Tahbone, Nome
2nd: Amanda Phipps, Fairbanks
3rd: Teyah Clark, Wasilla
2 Foot High Kick
1st: Emily King, Whitehorse, 70”
2nd: Alexandria Ivanoff, Unalakleet, 67”
3rd: Sara Steeves, Juneau, 62”
1st: Stuart Towarak, Unalakleet, 98”
2nd: Kyle Worl, Juneau, 95”
3rd: Casey Ferguson, Eagle River, 95”
1st: Auna Reed-Lewis, Palmer
2nd: Joannae Semaken, Unalakleet
3rd: Chelsea Morrow, Wasilla
1st: Linc Qimiq, Fairbanks
2nd: Leroy Shangin, Anchorage
3rd: Seth Strange, Chugiak
Indian Stick Pull
1st: Nicole Johnston, Anchorage
2nd: Marjorie Tahbone, Nome
3rd: Joanne Semaken, Unalakleet
1st: Ezra Elisoff, Juneau
2nd: Leroy Shangin, Anchorage
3rd: Arnold Phillip, Kwigillingok
1st: Stanley Riley, Anaktuvuk Pass, 28.28 secs
2nd: Sophie Swope, Bethel, 42.13 secs
3rd: Diane DuFour, Fairbanks, 46.72 secs
1st: Adelle Hanson, Fairbanks
2nd: Lauryn Hanson, Fairbanks,
3rd: Rayme Harris, Wasilla
1st: Ruth Miller, Anchorage
Alaskan High Kick
1st: Sara Steeves, Juneau, 72”
2nd: Camille Bernard, Wasilla, 67”
3rd: Emily King, Whitehorse, 66”
1st: Casey Ferguson, Chevak, 92”
2nd: Makiyan Ivanoff, Anchorage, 86”
3rd: Andrew Kashevarof, Anchorage, 86” 2 misses
Scissor Broad Jump
1st: Alexandria Ivanoff, Unalakleet, 27’ 1”
2nd: Emily King, Whitehorse, 25’ 5 ½”
3rd: Auna Reed-Lewis, Palmer, 23’ 2 ½”
1st: Nick Hanson, Unalakleet, 37’ 1 ½”
2nd: Makiyan Ivanoff, Anchorage, 35’ 2 ½”
3rd: Bernard Clark, Wasilla, 34’ 11 ½”
1st: Emily King, Whitehorse, 42 ½”
2nd: Alexandria Ivanoff, Unalakleet, 42”
3rd: Camille Bernard, Wasilla, 37 ½”
1st: Kyle Worl, Juneau, 60 ½”
2nd: Austin Sumdum, Anchorage, 58 ¼”
3rd: Christian Paul, Barrow, 57 ¼”
One Hand Reach
1st: Camille Bernard, Wasilla, 56”
2nd: Sophie Swope, Bethel, 56” 3 misses
3rd: Emily King, Whitehorse, 55”
1st: Bernard Clark, Wasilla, 70”
2nd: Manuel Tumulak, Anchorage, 65”
3rd: Kyle Worl, Juneau, 64”
1st: Stanley Riley, Anaktuvuk Pass, 334’ 3 ½” NEW RECORD
2nd: Sido Evans, Rampart, 235’ 9 ¾”
3rd: Walter Sean Hawkins, 170’ 10 ¼”
1st: Kelly Lincoln, Bethel
2nd: Marjorie Tahbone, Nome
3rd: Nick Hanson, Unalakleet
Eskimo Stick Pull
1st: Julee-Anna Van Velzor, Chugiak
2nd: Mandy Sullivan, Fairbanks
3rd: Flossie Wahlberg, Anchorage
1st: Sido Evans, Rampart
2nd: Walter Sean Hawkins, Anchorage
3rd: Scott Thacker Jr., Fairbanks
Greased Pole Walk
1st: Adriana Johnston, Eagle River, 46”
2nd: Awaluk Nichols, Nome, 40 ¼”
3rd: Patrice DeAsis, Juneau, 34 ¼”
1st: Kyle Worl, Juneau, 77 ½”
2nd: Vance Gregory, Fairbanks, 32”
3rd: Nick Hanson, Unalakleet, 31”