Ear Pull is an unusual sporting event played at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. The object is to tests the competitors' ability to endure pain. In the ear pull, two competitors sit facing each other, their legs straddled and interlocked. A two-foot-long loop of string, similar to a thick, waxed dental floss, is looped behind their ears, connecting right ear to right ear, or left to left. The competitors then pull upon the opposing ear using their own ear until the cord comes free or one player quits from the pain. The game has been omitted from some Arctic sports competitions due to safety concerns and the squeamishness of spectators; the event can cause bleeding and competitors sometimes require stitches.
The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (or WEIO) is an annual event held over a four-day period in July or August, designed to preserve cultural practices and traditional survival skills essential to life in circumpolar areas of the world. The WEIO features games rooted in ancestral hunting and survival techniques employed by Native Americans, as well as dance and storytelling competitions.
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