July 18, 2007

Knuckle hops and blanket tosses

Endurance, sportsmanship displayed at city's first WEIOThe World Eskimo-Indian Olympics are a marvel of physical exploits: How far can a man in a push-up position travel while hopping on his knuckles? How fast can a woman fillet a fish? How high can a person soar in the blanket toss?

They are meant to entertain, but they also aim to mimic survival skills that have been around for eons.

The knuckle hop doesn't exist just to make competitors bleed and spectators cringe, although it succeeds at doing both. It exists because it tests endurance and strength, mandatory traits if one was to make it in the Far North in the days before Costco and Permanent Fund dividend checks.

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