Cordova youth compete in Junior Native Youth Olympics

Lily Clement balances her weight on her left arm while lifting herself up to connect with the seal fur-covered ball. Photos by Roy Corral/for The Cordova Times

Three Cordova athletes won medals in the Junior NYO Games. Thirteen Cordova athletes joined students in grades 1-6 from across Alaska to compete in the games held Feb. 14-16, at the Seawolf Sports Complex at University of Alaska Anchorage.

In the Eskimo Stick Pull event, Taylor Tiedeman took second place and Willow Tiedeman placed fourth. Marcus Holley placed third in the Arm Pull.

The Cordova Junior Native Youth Olympics team with coach Nick Tiedeman and assistant coach, Jake Holley. Photos by Roy Corral/for The Cordova Times

JNYO games allow young athletes to compete in traditional skills-building contests such as the Eskimo Stick Pull, Seal Hop, Two-foot High Kick and the Arm Pull. Cook Inlet Tribal Council hosts the annual event to promote healthy lifestyles, positive self-esteem and leadership skills, and to offer insight into Alaska’s rich cultural diversity.

“NYO is more than a celebration of Alaska Native tradition — it’s an incentive that improves the lives of our children,” said Gloria O’Neill, President and CEO of CITC. “NYO athletes help each other succeed in the games, teaching our young people the value of hard work, cooperation and achieving their personal best.”