• The World Eskimo Indian Olympics - Fairbanks, Alaska

      Photo by Rick Quinn
      The Carlson Center is an indoor arena in Fairbanks that serves as the home of the annual World Eskimo Indian Olympics, which draws contestants from all over the State of Alaska. If you're lucky enough to be in Fairbanks during the week of these games, you'll have a chance to see an amazing exhibition of skill and endurance, with unique competitions based on traditional Inuit contests. Events include the blanket toss, the two-foot high kick, the seal hop, a muktuk eating contest (raw whale blubber), and the ever-popular 'ear-pull', involving a cord looped around each contestant's ear tightly enough to draw blood. (The ear-pull is said to simulate the pain of frostbite). The 'Olympic Torch' is a seal oil lamp, faithfully tended by tribal elders. This is a fascinating adaptation of survival skills that are rapidly disappearing in remote villages that grow ever more dependent on the amenities of the modern world.

      If you go:
      In addition to the athletic competitions, there is a beauty pageant (Miss World Eskimo Indian Olympics); and a Regalia contest, featuring hand-made traditional garments and furs. There are numerous booths, with native artisans selling their crafts and traditional artwork.


      Carlson Center
      2010 2nd Avenue
      Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 USA

      Mailing address:
      World Eskimo Indian Olympics
      400 Cushman
      Fairbanks, AK 99701 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      World Eskimo Indian Olympics
      +1 (907) 452-6646