Athlete of the Week: Eden Hopson stars at WEIO while paying tribute to those before her
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage’s Eden Hopson competed in the first event at the 61st World Eskimo Indian Olympics, the toe kick, wearing a 1986 Kodiak Island Native Youth Olympics t-shirt depicting two athletes competing in the Eskimo Stick Pull with the phrase “pulling together.”
“One of our family friends gave us a lot of the boxes that were in their garage and I looked through them, actually this is one of them I found too,” the 18-year old said on day two of the annual celebration of culture, referencing her yellow WEIO shirt with red lettering. “This also from like the ‘80s ... to be able to wear them and to talk with them and to tell them that I was able to use it during competition was really big.”
Hopson, originally from Utqiagvik, went on to win the women’s toe kick event, a game of agility and balance, to set the tone in her second time competing at WEIO. The recent Service High School graduate took home the gold in the one-hand reach and the Alaska High Kick, finished tied for first in the two-foot high kick, took silver in the kneel jump, and bronze in the one-foot high kick. Hopson’s swing kick height of 56 inches is the new women’s world record.
“I am overjoyed, I have never competed in this game before, and it was my first time and I am very excited,” she said afterward.
However, Hopson didn’t just leave Fairbanks with a duffle bag full of medals.
“I think one thing that i really stepped up with is starting to talk to people more, opening up, I am a little shy, but being here you get to open up a lot more and talk to people. <6:23> It was amazing to see that we had more athletes join this year, it lifted my heart.
A natural athlete, Hopson if heading off to play basketball at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington this fall.
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