Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Sept. 19

Third Annual National Native American wrestling event continues to grow
2012 Lori Piestewa Games will be held June 1-3

TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION, Ariz. - The commissioners of the 2012 Lori Piestewa National Native American Games are looking to increase participation in the wrestling event to be held on the Tohono O'odham Nation this coming June, as they lead into their third year of offering wrestling in the games.

The Lori Piestewa Games, organized by the staff of Arizona's Grand Canyon State Games and dedicated volunteers from various tribal areas and venues around the state, aims to bring together Native American people from all over the United States to celebrate life, culture and harmony through sport.

Wrestling is the newest addition to the games operated by the father and son Wrestling Commissioners Rupert Lopez and Na Humma, both of the Tohono O'odham Nation.

"We originally approached the games staff to add wrestling, because we wanted to compete," said Humma, "but as our talks continued it became clear that there wasn't anyone available to host the event, so we volunteered to take on that task."

Since that time, the wrestling event has had two successful years in 2010 and 2011.

"So far we've had great participation boasting over 60 entries both years," said Lopez. "This year we hope to bring it over the top and attract over 100 Native wrestlers to come down and compete in the only national event we're aware of that is exclusive to Native Americans."

The wrestling event will be held June 1-3 at Santa Rosa Day School, located 45 miles south of Casa Grande, Ariz., on the Tohono O'odham Nation. Wrestling will be contested in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman, which will both be covered by a single entry fee. Room and board is available for $10 per person, to cover all three days of the event, which will be due on May 18, in order to secure meals for the event.

Online registration is available for this event at http://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=9500.

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