NYO Games, Anchorage, Alaska

Hundreds of youths from seventh to 12th grades from across Alaska compete annually in Anchorage in the NYO Games, a nonprofit formerly known as the Native Youth Olympics, which began in 1972. If you have never attended the NYO games, these are spectator sports the likes of which you have never seen.

NYO Games include 10 competitive events based on games past generations of Alaska Native people played as a way to increase strength, maintain endurance and agility, and hone the balance of mind and body—all critical hunting and survival skills. The athletes demonstrate astounding displays of sheer physical strength, incredible flexibility and the impressive mental focus required to succeed in these challenging games. The competition is open to all Alaska students of qualifying age, regardless of ethnicity. As an added bonus for spectators, the NYO games include Alaska Native dance performances twice a day.

The NYO games are held in spring in Anchorage; admission is free.  

The games take place in Anchorage, April 20-22, 2023, at the Alaska Airlines Center. If you are unable to attend the NYO Games, but are interested in seeing a demonstration of the skills first-hand, you can visit the Alaska Native Cultural Center in Anchorage, which often hosts performances by some of the athletes; find more information at alaskanative.net. Go to anchorage.net to plan your stay in Anchorage, Alaska.