2013 Tri-Ute Games kick off

All of this year’s Tri-Ute Games participants gather outside the Sky Ute Casino Resort for a group photo prior to the Opening Ceremony on Monday, July 22. Members of the Northern Ute Tribe dressed in red, the Southern Ute Tribe in blue and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in yellow. Also pictured are coaches, Ute veterans and members of tribal royalty.
Tri-Ute Games participants (Southern Ute in blue, Ute Mountain Ute in yellow and Northern Ute in red) get reacquainted during this year’s Opening Ceremony on Monday, July 22 at the Sky Ute Casino Resort. The games last took place in Towaoc, Colo., in 2012.
Representatives from each tribe’s veterans group carry the tribal and U.S. flags during the Opening Ceremony.
Members of each tribe’s royalty made an appearance.
Ignacio-based drum group Yellow Jacket provides traditional songs to open the Tri-Ute Games.
Charles Denny, a former world champion hoop dancer and descendant of the Northern Ute Tribe, performs during the Opening Ceremony.
For the younger kids, a “winterguard” class was available. Participants spent two days learning a routine they then performed at the Closing Ceremony.
One team-building activity had participants scrambling around the Sky Ute Casino Resort’s Events Center with photos of a famous athlete to meet up with others holding the same photo.
All of this year’s Tri-Ute Games participants gather outside the Sky Ute Casino Resort for a group photo prior to the Opening Ceremony on Monday, July 22. Members of the Northern Ute Tribe dressed in red, the Southern Ute Tribe in blue and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in yellow. Also pictured are coaches, Ute veterans and members of tribal royalty.
Tri-Ute Games participants (Southern Ute in blue, Ute Mountain Ute in yellow and Northern Ute in red) get reacquainted during this year’s Opening Ceremony on Monday, July 22 at the Sky Ute Casino Resort. The games last took place in Towaoc, Colo., in 2012.
Representatives from each tribe’s veterans group carry the tribal and U.S. flags during the Opening Ceremony.
Members of each tribe’s royalty made an appearance.
Ignacio-based drum group Yellow Jacket provides traditional songs to open the Tri-Ute Games.
Charles Denny, a former world champion hoop dancer and descendant of the Northern Ute Tribe, performs during the Opening Ceremony.
For the younger kids, a “winterguard” class was available. Participants spent two days learning a routine they then performed at the Closing Ceremony.
One team-building activity had participants scrambling around the Sky Ute Casino Resort’s Events Center with photos of a famous athlete to meet up with others holding the same photo.
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum

Hundreds of young athletes from the three Ute tribes descended on Ignacio July 22-25 for the Tri-Ute Games. The event, hosted this year by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and coordinated by SunUte Community Center staff, included friendly competition all over town in basketball, volleyball, swimming, cross-country, golf, bowling and skateboarding as well as traditional activities such as archery, hand games and shinny.

The official participant count for this year’s Tri-Ute Games was 333, with a fairly even split of more than 100 from each of the three Ute tribes. That made it by far the most popular iteration of the games yet, nearly doubling the previous record of 175 participants. Following each day’s competitions, participants gathered for social activities — including a dance and “dive-in movie” night in the SunUte Community Center pool — per the Tri-Ute mission: “to come together as one so our children can get to know each other better, fostering friendship between the … tribes.”

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