All seven Chugach communities sent teams to the Native Youth Olympic games April 24-26. The games feature teams from throughout Alaska and are hosted by Cook Inlet Tribal Council.
Athletes practice all year in preparation for the annual event, honing their skills in contests such as the kneel jump, wrist carry, Alaskan high kick, Eskimo stick pull, seal hop, toe kick, one-hand reach and other events that focus on traditional values, healthy lifestyles, respect and good sportsmanship.
The kids enjoy the camaraderie and social aspects of the games while learning great lessons about nutrition, goals and hard work. The older athletes often mentor younger kids and encourage them to work and push hard. The coaches often report they get as much out of it as the kids and enjoy their time teaching and spending time with the young athletes.