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Photos: 53rd annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

Vanessa Tahbone of Nome competes in the Head Pull at WEIO 2014 on July 19, 2014 in Fairbanks. Tahbone took the gold medal in the competition with zero losses. In the Head Pull event, a leather strap is placed around both of the competitors' heads. The competitors have only their feet and hands on the ground and attempt to pull his or her opponent over a line or to pull the strap away from his or her opponent.
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James Wardlow of Seward holds his one-month-old son, Isaac, before competing in the Bench Reach at WEIO 2014 on July 19, 2014 in Fairbanks.
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Deenaalee Hodgon competes in the Bench Reach event at WEIO 2014 on July 19, 2014 in Fairbanks. The Bench Reach is a serious test of core strength. In the event, a contestant kneels on a bench while a volunteer sits the contestant's calves to anchor him or her. Then, the contestant bends down and without touching the ground picks up a wooden dowl and places the dowl as far away from himself or herself as he or she can before raising back up to the same starting position kneeling on the bench. The athlete may not at anytime touch the ground with his or her body or grab onto a body part (like a thigh) for support. If the dowl topples or if the athlete slides it after placing it on the ground, it is also a scratch.
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Jazmine Jones of Fairbanks competes in the preliminaries for the One Foot High Kick (Alaskan-Style) at WEIO 2014 on July 19, 2014 in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
In the Head Pull event, a leather strap is placed around both of the competitors' heads. The competitors have only their feet and hands on the ground and attempt to pull his or her opponent over a line or to pull the strap away from his or her opponent.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Amber Carpluk and her 2-year old son after receiving her silver medal for the Two Foot High Kick at WEIO 2014 on July 18, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Traditional dancing and regalia is a large part of the WEIO events. Every night between competitions and award ceremonies, dance groups perform and often invite spectators to join them on the floor.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Silver-medalist Krystal Lincoln gets some height in the women's finals for the Blanket Toss at WEIO 2014 on July 18, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Volunteer "pullers" for the blanket toss grab gloves from the bin before taking their places around the blanket at WEIO 2014 for the women's finals in the event on July 18, 2014. The pullers must be strong and coordinated as a group in their pulls; pulling too much on one side of the blanket sends athletes rocketing into the sky over the edge of the blanket, and should something like this happen, the entire group needs to move as one in order to catch the defending participant.
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Nick Hansen of Unalakleet competes in the men's finals of the Two Foot High Kick at WEIO 2014 on July 18, 2014 in Fairbanks. Hansen wins the silver medal in the event, with a kick of 94 inches.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Casey Ferguson (left), winner of the gold medal in the Two Foot High Kick at WEIO 2014 on July 18, 2014, relaxes with fellow athletes after winning the event with a kick of 98 inches and attempting an off-record kick of 101 inches, three inches shorter than the 1988 score that is still the record.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Traditional dancing and regalia is a large part of the WEIO events. Every night between competitions and award ceremonies, dance groups perform and often invite spectators to join them on the floor. WEIO 2014 in Fairbanks on July 18, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Amber Carpluk of Fairbanks competes in the women's finals of the Two Foot High Kick at WEIO 2014 on July 18, 2014 in Fairbanks. Carpluk wins the silver medal in the event, with a kick of 72 inches.
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The Seal-Skinning event at WEIO 2014 on July 18, 2014 in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Former Miss WEIO Megan Leary passes down her title and sash to the new Miss WEIO Chanda Simon of Fairbanks at WEIO 2014 on July 18, 2014.
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First-place-winner in the women's Blanket Toss Autumn Ridley of Anchorage (left), with competitor Vanessa Tahbone of Nome (right), after her winning tosses at WEIO 2014 on July 18, 2014.
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Former Miss WEIO Megan Leary from Napaiumute takes her last walk around the Carlson Center as Miss WEIO before passing her crown and title down to the new Miss WEIO, Chanda Simon of Fairbanks at WEIO 2014 on July 18, 2014.
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Linc Qimiq, right, competes with Jeff Satterfield for the gold medal in the men's Ear Pull event Friday, July 18, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Qimiq took first place, and Satterfield second.
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Brooke Wright of Rampart competes in the qualifier for the Drop the Bomb event Friday, July 18, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. The Drop the Bomb event is a mens-only event; all men must unanimously agree for a woman to be able to participate. According to WEIO Chair Nicole Johnston, "No man has ever dared to tell a woman that she cannot compete."
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Marjorie Tahbone of Nome hugs the judges after her final attempt in the Alaska High Kick Finals Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Autumn Ridley wins first place in the women's Alaska High Kick finals Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Ridley kicked 82 inches, and holds the women's world record at 83 inches.
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From left, second place winner Elijah Cabinboy, first place winner Casey Ferguson, and third place winner John Waska stand on the podium after accepting their awards in the Alaska High Kick Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
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The Minto Dancers perform Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Elijah Cabinboy competes in the men's Blanket Toss preliminaries Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
A young member of the Minto Dancers performs Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
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The Minto Dancers perform Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
The Minto Dancers perform Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Forrest Strick of Wasilla competes in the Two Foot High Kick preliminaries Friday, July 18, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. In the event, an athlete must jump from the floor using both feet, hit the suspended ball with both feet together and maintain balance when landing. Both feet must touch the floor at the same time.
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Mitsi Evans, left, of Fairbanks and Michelle Strange of Anchorage compete in the Ear Pull finals Friday, July 18, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Evans took first place in the event, and Strange second. The ear pull event is one that encourages tolerance for pain, such as frostbite, which is a skill sometimes needed to survive in the North. Two athletes sit down facing each other with twine looped around each other's ears - right ear to right ear, then left to left. The athlete must pull straight back from one another and attempt to slip the twine off of his or her opponent's ear.
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Fairbanks resident Aizah Sullivan, left, competes with her mother Mandy Sullivan in the Eskimo Stick Pull Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Mandy Sullivan took first place in the event, with her daughter Aizah taking second.
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Autumn Ridley of Anchorage stretches before the Alaskan High Kick preliminaries at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Ridley holds the world record for the Alaskan High Kick.
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An athlete competes in the preliminaries for the Alaska High Kick at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Autumn Ridley competes in the preliminaries for the Alaskan High Kick at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Ridley holds the world record for the Alaskan High Kick.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
A judge's child jumps on her lap during an intermission for the Alaskan High Kick preliminaries at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Bernard Clark of Wasilla competes in the preliminaries for the Alaskan High Kick during the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Clark set a new world record last night for the one hand reach, reaching 70 inches.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
8-month-old Keilani Nickoli of Ruby, Alaska, competes in the Alaska Native Baby Contest at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Matthew Sido Evans of Fairbanks competes in the Eskimo Stick Pull at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Evans took first place in this year's stick pull, and also set a new world record for the Four Man Carry last night, carrying four men at 150 pounds each a total of 241 feet, 8 inches.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
1-year-old Arissa Leavitt of Barrow, Alaska, competes in the Alaska Native Baby Contest at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics Thursday, July 17, 2014 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Competitors, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks on July 16, 2014. The games are a test of strength, agility and tolerance for pain.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Competitors, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Competitors, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Competitors, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Competitors, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Competitors, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Competitors, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Competitors, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Competitors, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Contestants, community, and family gather on the opening day of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, AK. July 16, 2014.
Ash Adams for Alaska Dispatch News
Alaska Dispatch News

The 53rd World Eskimo-Indian Olympics is underway at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, making this weekend a great opportunity to witness spectacular competitions of strength, agility and tolerance for pain, as well as traditional Alaska Native dancing and arts and crafts.

Popular events include the blanket toss, where people are flung into the air on blankets made of walrus skin; and the ear pull, a nail-biting event for onlookers where competitors face off in a tug-of-war, using twine looped around one ear. Other less painful but still crowd-pleasing events include the one- and two-foot high kicks and the Alaskan high kick.

WEIO runs through Saturday, July 19, and the entry fee for adults is $12. Find a full schedule on their website.