Anchorage — James Lampe Jr., who credited his strong ears to genetics and working outdoors in Kaktovik, won the men's ear pull Friday at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics in Fairbanks, going undefeated in the double-elimination tournament.
Lampe, 46, a heavy equipment operator, in the final of the painful event defeated two-time champion Leroy Shangin of Anchorage, who was in the final for fourth time in the last five years. Drew Dewberry of Fairbanks finished third.
In the ear pull, a sinewy string is placed around the ear of each competitor as they sit facing one another, and the winner is the athlete who with their head pulls the string off the ear of their opponents. The event tests pain tolerance and endurance, essential qualities for surviving in the elements.
Mitsi Evans, 32, of Fairbanks, won the women's title, going undefeated like Lampe. She beat Michelle Strange of Anchorage, who was runner-up for the second straight year. Noel Strick of McGrath, who won the title two years ago, finished third.
3 Alaskans medal
Kevin Chin of Tanaka's Martial Arts Academy won one gold medal and two silvers, and was among three karate athletes from Tanaka's to take home hardware last week at the 2013 USA Team Trials and National Championships in Greenville, S.C.
Chen won gold in the kata for intermediate boys 8 years old. He also took silver medals in his division in advanced short weapons and advanced long weapons.
Susan Chen won gold in kata for advanced girls 13 years old.
Also, Vassar Bradford took silver in the men's advanced kata.