With Dance and the Stick Pull, NYO Opens in St. Michael

Competitors in the Indian Stick Pull during the 33rd Annual BSSD NYO.

The 33rd annual Native Youth Olympics or NYO tournament for the Bering Strait School District is officially underway as of last night.

Unalakleet NYO coach Nick Hanson greeted a bustling audience seated on the red bleachers of Anthony A. Andrews school in Saint Michael:

The first event of the weekend and only competition held Thursday night was the Indian Stick Pull. As two competitors grasp a greased wooden rod next to each other while standing in opposite directions, they attempt to destabilize their opponent’s grip without losing their own balance. The best of three pulls determines the winner.

The first champion of the night was Celeste Katcheak of Stebbins for the girls’ tournament:

And host village Saint Michael received their own champion through the boys’ tournament: Patrick Agibinik.

The evening concluded with native dancing. The BSSD NYO tournament continues today and tomorrow in Saint Michael.

Correction: This story has been edited to reflect that Celeste Katcheak is from Stebbins.

Image at top: Jacob Brouillette (Elim) and Harley Huntington (Koyuk) compete in the Indian Stick Pull on April 19th, 2018 at the BSSD NYO games. Photo: Karen Trop/KNOM.


  1. Stacey M. on April 21, 2018 at 1:16 am

    Correction* it is Celeste Katcheak of Stebbins not Wales!

    • Karen Trop on April 21, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Stacey, thanks for the correction!