Over seventy Pokagon community members young and old participated in the 2014 Michigan Indian Family Olympics at Central Michigan University July 18. Thanks to a great showing from athletes in events ranging from the 100 meter run to archery to the sponge relay, the Pokagon team captured third place with 199 points. First place went to event organizers and hosts Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe with 725 points, and the Gun Lake Tribe grabbed second with 234 points. Huron Potawatomi, Grand Traverse Band, Little Traverse Bay Band and Little River Band, in that order, rounded out the rest of the field.
The Pokagon team was in charge of running the 19 and over long jump event. “We greatly appreciate how each tribe was involved in helping with an area of this large event,” said Jaden Harman, event organizer and fitness coordinator for the Saginaw Chippewa’s Nimkee Memorial Fitness Center. “Thank you for bringing so many individuals to this awesome event. It makes a great difference in the native communities throughout the state.”
The group chartered a bus to Mt. Pleasant, and had a fun at the group dinners and the water park hotel during their stay. Some even hung around after one dinner to play Healthy Jeopardy, a specialized version of the game show. In order to qualify for participating in the Olympics, citizens were asked to take part in at least three training events, held throughout the winter and spring.