Monday, April 7, 2014

The Inuit Games

The Arctic Winter Games are essentially the Olympics of the Arctic Circle. The Games were founded in 1969 through a joint effort of Alaskan governor Walter Hickel, Northwest Territories Commissioner Stuart Hodgson, and Yukon Commissioner James Smith. The first official Games occurred in 1970 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, which included participants from Alaska, Northwest Territories, and Yukon. They have occurred every two years since then. The next Games is set to be held in the town of Nuuk, Greenland in March 2016.
Source: Wikipedia

In 1974, the Inuit Games were officially introduced into the Arctic Winter Games. They, too, have occurred along with the rest of the Games every two years since their inception. They include 11 events, which are as follows: The one-foot, two-foot, and Alaskan high kicks; the arm pull; the kneel jump; the airplane; the one-hand reach; the head pull; the knuckle hop; the sledge jump; and the triple jump. These events mimic the style of traditional Inuit games, of which many required little or no equipment or playing pieces. As the Inuit were semi-nomadic, they needed to come up with games and other forms of entertainment that were relatively simplistic and could be performed wherever they decided to stop. Each of these sports requires some form of conditioning, technique, and (in the case of the head pull, at least) a pretty high pain tolerance!

Source: WikiSpaces

One event that I find very interesting is the Alaskan high kick (see picture sequence above). It involves sitting on the floor with one hand holding on to the opposite foot, then springing up while balancing on your free hand and attempting to kick a target that is hanging from the ceiling with your free foot. I have never seen any game or event like this before. But I would love to see it in action and maybe even try it myself!

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