Indigenous Games to showcase native athleticism

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba ? Indian athletes from throughout North America will have the opportunity to compete for medals at the 2002 North American Indigenous Games to be held in Winnipeg from July 25 through Aug. 4. Over 6,000 athletes will participate on 27 teams, organized by state, province and territory. On the sidelines, cultural and educational exhibits and activities will complement the athletic competitions.

Gold, silver and bronze medals will be offered in sixteen sports: 3-D archery, athletics (track & field), badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoeing, golf, field lacrosse, rifle shooting, soccer, softball, swimming, tae kwon do, volleyball and wrestling. Most sports will be divided into five age categories with separate competition for men and women. Special Olympic competitions will be held in athletics and swimming.

The city of Winnipeg hosted the 1999 Pan Am Games; many of the venues used in that competition have been upgraded for the Indigenous Games.

The first Indigenous Games took place in Edmonton, Alberta in 1990. Since then, the Games have been held in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (1993), Blaine, Minn. (1995) and Victoria, B.C. (1997).

For more information on the games, log onto the games' web site at: www. 2002naig.com.