Statewide three-day event draws as many as 500 student athletes from across the state
With the health and wellbeing of our entire local and statewide community as the top priority, Cook Inlet Tribal Council is cancelling this year’s 2020 Native Youth Olympics (NYO) Games and all related activities.
In the wake of monitoring recent events regarding the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the decision was made only after careful consideration and is in-line with the municipality’s Office of Emergency Management protocol(s) and with respect to the Governor’s Public Health Disaster Emergency declaration on Wednesday.
The 2020 Sr. Games would be the 50th anniversary of NYO slated for April 23 – 25 at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. The three-day gathering meets the prominent risk factors surrounding the potential spread of the virus, including Elders in attendance, a gathering of more than 250 people, and close-contact activities.
“The NYO Games exemplify health, wellness, and sportsmanship,” said CITC President and CEO Gloria O’Neill. “CITC has a responsibility to look out for our community, and our youth and Elders alike, as the entire state works together to prepare for an expected public health emergency.”
The health and stability of our rural and tribal communities are also at stake, as the statewide Senior Games draw as many as 500 student athletes from more than 100 communities across Alaska, along with coaches, family members, sponsors and volunteers, while attracting as many as 5,000 spectators throughout the event.
“I recognize that all our young athletes, especially the high-school seniors, have worked incredibly hard to prepare for the Games, and this decision weighs heavy on my heart,” O’Neill said.
CITC is actively planning the event’s 50-year anniversary for the spring of 2021. CITC has been hosting the Games since 1986.