13 Feb NYO Community Mourns the Passing of Young Role Model, Champion
We at NYO Games Alaska are heartbroken at the loss of Autumn Apok Ridley.
A traditional games athlete from the time she was in first grade, Autumn became a constant presence at NYO Games, where she displayed talent and determination in events like the Kneel Jump, Two-Foot High Kick, and One-Foot High Kick. But the Alaskan High Kick is where she excelled most: Autumn was the world record holder for the event, kicking 83 inches in 2014—a record that still stands.
Autumn was an accomplished and dedicated athlete who actively lived out the spirit of NYO in the way she encouraged and helped her teammates and others. She inspired others to strive for their best, and she was a role model to nearly everyone who came to know her. Autumn understood that regardless of her athletic accomplishments, being a good teammate is the greatest achievement an NYO athlete can strive for. In a 2013 video made by Indie Alaska, she said, “The biggest accomplishment that I’ve ever got at NYO is getting the sportsmanship award.”
“When I’m going up, I just think of my ancestors, and the people before me, who got this opportunity to kick it,” she said when describing how she prepared for the Alaskan High Kick. This year, as our athletes, coaches, and volunteers prepare to participate in the NYO Games, we know that many of them will be carrying Autumn in their hearts.
Our thoughts are with Autumn’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Autumn Ridley breaks the world record in the Alaskan High Kick with a reach of 83 inches during the 2014 NYO Games.