NYO Lead Official Johnston To Be Inducted into Sports Hall of Fame

Newly inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, NYO Lead Official Nicole Johnston is both an award-winning athlete and a beloved figure at Native Games events.

Newly inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, NYO Lead Official Nicole Johnston is both an award-winning athlete and a beloved figure at Native Games events.

CITC is proud to announce that Native Youth Olympics Lead Official Nicole Johnston will be inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2017.

Nicole joins the Native Youth Olympics, which was inducted last year, as a member of the Sports Hall of Fame, which selects three individuals, one event, and one sports moment for inclusion each year. This is the 11th class inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. The date for the 2017 induction ceremony is to be announced.

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame 2017 inductee Nicole Johnston competes int eh Alaska High Kick at the 2000 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. (Photo courtesy of Erik Hill, Alaska Dispatch News.)

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame 2017 inductee Nicole Johnston competes in the Alaska High Kick at the 2000 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. (Photo courtesy of Erik Hill, Alaska Dispatch News.)

Nicole learned Native games growing up in Nome and soon developed into a champion who threatened to win any contest she entered. Over the course of her athletic career, she collected more than 100 medals at major events like the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (WEIO), the Arctic Winter Games, and the Native Youth Olympics.

Her most notable achievement as an athlete came in 1989, when she set the world record in one of the most epic events in Native sports: the two-foot high kick. Nicole set the women’s record of 6 feet, 6 inches and didn’t surrender it until 2015 — a record that stood for 25 years.

Nicole’s versatility is as renowned as her durability. She also won technical events like the kneel jump, strength events like the arm pull, and athletic events like the high kick.

Today, Nicole is Alaska’s biggest ambassador for Native sports. She has traveled around the state teaching the games to children and teens and has served as a board member and chairwoman for WEIO. CITC is proud to have worked with Nicole for more than a decade to organize and run the annual NYO Games.