The CNMI is making history by hosting the Pacific Mini Games for the first time.
On Friday over 3,000 spectators attended the opening ceremony at the Oleai Sports Complex while thousands more watched the livestream.
In his opening remarks, Organizing Committee Chairman Marco Peter said: “When our honorable Gov. Ralph Torres gave us the green light [in November 2020] to proceed with the games, we were faced with a daunting task that needed to be done in a short amount of time…. It seemed like an impossible feat.”
Peter said as a golfer he “understood what an athlete in peak condition needed in order to compete and perform.”
But he said had no idea “where to even start to create something here in the NMI of the magnitude that is the PMG.”
Now, he added, “with over 1,000 delegates present in the NMI for the games — 800 of them athletes…, 400 staff members and countless volunteers — with over 20 nations [and territories] participating, this once-in-a-lifetime event is a success.”
Peter said “for the first time in Pacific Mini Games history, we, the NMI as the host, are providing accommodations for the athletes and staff members participating in the games. NMI, we are making our mark in history. The Pacific Mini Games Organizing Committee did not want to provide the bare minimum. We wanted to set the new bar for host nations to follow in providing a field of play, accommodations, transportation, and food. And I am proud to say we have done just that.”
In his remarks, Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan said on behalf of the members of his executive board, “I extend to each one of you, a very warm welcome, to the official opening ceremony of 2022 Pacific Mini Games.”
He said about a year ago, some were not sure if they would be able to meet for the 11th edition of the Pacific Mini Games, and some even doubted the ability of the NMI to be ready to host the event.
“But here we are, despite the challenges due to Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018, followed by obstacles put in our path by the Covid-19 pandemic, the NMI ‘Rose to the Challenge’ and came through with flying colors. My faith in our local people of the Pacific Islands has been vindicated. All critics have been proven wrong. Given the opportunity and the support, our people of the Pacific, particularly the people of the NMI, as I have just said, will always rise to the occasion.”
Lakhan added, “I must single out Governor Ralph Torres for he has been a tower of strength to our Games Organizing Committee. Governor, allow me to say that if it had not been for your support, we probably would not be in the shape we are this evening. Please, accept our sincere thanks for your commitment to see these games through. And to the athletes of the Pacific, I say to you all, that the stage is set for what is promising to be an excellent games.”
Governor Torres, in his remarks, said: “To all the athletes who will be competing in the nine different sporting events, I commend you for your commitment to health and sport, as you’re training to get here required hard work and dedication. The NMI is honored to provide you all with opportunities to showcase your skills and abilities and to represent your islands and countries. We are proud of you all.”.
SOURCE: MARIANAS VARIETY/PACNEWS