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Renowned 'Huslia Hustler' makes jump from rural Alaska to World Wide Web

Van Williams | Alaska Sports Hall of FameAlaska Sports Hall of Fame
Courtesy: George Attla YouTube video

George Attla's life is one of the true feel-good stories in Alaska.

Never mind his decades of dominance in sprint dog mushing, the man overcame incredible odds just to survive.

When he was 8 years old he contracted tuberculosis in his knee and was constricted to a hospital bed for weeks on end. Later his leg was fused.

He could have given into his handicap, but instead he used it as motivation to fuel one of the most amazing athletic careers in Alaska history. Now 78, the Athabascan wants to share his success story.

Learn all about it at his new educational website: www.attlamakingofachampion.com. There you will read about the life of this legendary musher as well as a history of sled dog racing in Alaska. "For the rest of my life, I want to encourage all young people to work to be the best they can be in all that they do," Attla said.

Navigate through the many videos, images, articles and narratives. Discover the people, dogs and events that were important in shaping Attla's abilities as a musher and his championship mindset.

The content of this website has something for everyone.

Attla's commitment to sharing what he has learned about training and racing sled dogs and his passion to communicate his message about being a winner are evident throughout.

Nicknamed the 'Huslia Hustler,' he won more major championships than any other sprint musher in the world -- 10 Fur Rendezvous World Championship titles, nine International Sled Dog Association Unlimited Class medals and eight North American Open titles.

At the first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1973, Attla finished fifth. The Iditarod was never his race; too long. He made his name in sprints.

In 2007, Attla was inducted with the inaugural class into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

"I have been fit for life by the training and running dogs for 50 years," Attla said. "I am now back in the Bush and happily doing all the chores associated with living off the land.

"I would like to breed and train one more world champion sprint dog team."

Reach Van Williams at sports(at)reportalaska.comThis article was originally published in The Arctic Sounder and is reprinted here with permission.