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  • Ida Edwards

First you Plank, then you Hop

Imagine lying in the snow, hunting seals on a winter's day. You lie motionless, with your harpoon positioned under your chest crossways.  Gripping the harpoon with your knuckles on the ground, you begin to move forward in a seal-like motion, utilizing a combination of knuckle and toe pushes toward your target while maintaining the starting position of a full push-up. The sport requires incredible core strength, endurance and physical prowess. The participants made this challenging task appear effortless. Yet, it is anything but. 

At the Mat-Su 2024 AWG, athletes happily embraced the challenge of knuckle hop, with an excited crowd rallying behind them. Colony Middle School Gymnasium buzzed with energy as spectators filled every available seat, the audience eager for knuckle hop to begin. The atmosphere crackled with electricity as cheers, applause, and even imitation seal barks and honks echoed through the gym. As each contestant assumed their starting position, a hush fell over the crowd, giving their full focus to the athletes. Once the athletes began their journey across the floor, the crowd erupted into thunderous applause, their fervor intensifying with every meter covered, their eyes fixed on the tape track guiding the athletes forward. 

Officials meticulously observed the athletes’ form, ensuring athletes didn’t break from the required parallel position to the floor.  Any deviation from this form resulted in a halt, with the athlete's distance being measured from that spot. 

Among the crowd favorites was Kyle Worl, representing Alaska, whose father had previously set the world record for knuckle hop. Kyle’s remarkable performance earned him the Gold Ulu, traveling an impressive 47.854 meters. Inuuteq Josefsen from Kalallit Nunaat, claimed silver with 41.129 meters, while Parker Kenick from Alaska secured bronze with a distance of 26.213 meters.  Congratulations to all the athletes, coaches and support teams on a job well done. 


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