Josh Carr, Team Yukon kicks for the rafters in the two-foot Inuit high kick.
Photo By Allan Rudisill
Once used for communication and a test of strength and endurance during the winter months in villages, the two-foot high kick has become one of the more popular events at the Arctic Winter Games.
Participants in this year’s Games for the junior two-foot high kick included teams from Alaska, Nunavut, Nunavik-Quebec, Yukon, Greenland, Northern Alberta and Northwest Territories.
The athletes practice year-round and compete at events like the Peninsula Winter Games, said Courtney Sullivan, Inuit chairperson.
“This is my first year and it is awesome,” said Josh Carr of Team Yukon, “I am meeting lots of people from all over.”
“We train all year, two times a week. It is like a club for the youth,” said Helga Nielsen, Greenland’s coach. “In October 2005 we picked our team and had athletes try out from many communities and villages.”
The junior girls two-foot high kick largest leap was 6’0” by Team Alaska’s Jasmine Simmons, and the junior men’s top height was 7’4” by Alec Airo from Nunavik.
During the finals, coaches and teammates talked to each athlete and went over strategy for the jump. The athletes got the crowd going with rhythmic clapping and throat singing.
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