Despite our longtime enthusiasm for ski jumping, we just can’t seem to drum up much interest in this edition of the Winter Olympics. Perhaps that’s because we currently find ourselves smitten with an entirely different set of cold-weather games—those which comprise the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, held annually in Fairbanks, Alaska. Most are simple tests of sheer strength and agility, and rely on equipment no fancier than a greased pole or loop of string.
Our favorite, though, requires only a couple of pals and the heart of a lion: Drop the Bomb, an event described in great detail in a 1989 Anchorage Daily News dispatch:
The athletes, holding their bodies in the cross position and parallel to the floor, are carried by the wrists and ankles until they no longer are able to remain rigid and touch the floor, hence drop the bomb…
Going last was defending champion Homer Lord of Fairbanks, who currently lives in Colorado. But he never could get in the iron-cross position the way he wanted to and finished a disappointing fourth.
“I didn’t get set properly,” he said. “Technique is a big part of this thing. You’ve got to lock yourself up because once you slip, you can’t go back. I didn’t get locked in.”