FAIRBANKS — Last year, Vincent Distefano made a promise to his uncle Al Adams, of Kotzebue, which brought him all the way from Los Angeles to play in his first World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Distefano entered his name for every event, knowing it would put a smile on his uncle’s face.
“It meant a lot when he became very ill recently to kind of give him something to keep living for and kind of keep hope alive as he goes through cancer treatment,” Distefano said. “I know he’ll get a kick that I tried every single one.”
Training for the WEIO games in Los Angeles was not easy. The biggest challenge was convincing his California friends that these games were real. “They refused to believe there was a thing called the ear pull and ear weight,” Distefano said. “What I had to do was download YouTube clips and show them video from last year that I took, and we would practice.”
“It’s too much fun and these guys are too great to not come back,” said Distefano, who is already looking forward to competing in next year’s games.