THE NMI makes 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 live stream.
In his opening remarks, Organizing Committee Chairman Marco Peter said: “When our honorable Governor Ralph Torres gave us the green light [in November 2020] In order to continue with the games we were faced with a daunting task that had to be completed in a short time…. It seemed like an impossible feat.”
Peter said as a golfer he “understood what it takes for an athlete in peak condition to compete and perform.”
But he said he had no idea “where to even begin to create something of the scale that the PMG is here at the NMI”.
Now, he added, “with over 1,000 delegates present at the Games at the NMI – 800 of them athletes…, 400 staff and countless volunteers – with over 20 nations [and territories] participate, this unique event is a success.”
Peter said, “For the first time in the history of the Pacific Mini Games, we, the host NMI, are providing accommodations for athletes and staff participating in the Games. NMI, we leave a mark on history. The organizing committee of the Pacific Mini Games did not want to provide the essentials. We wanted to set the new bar for host countries to follow in providing pitches, housing, transportation and food. And I am proud to say that we have succeeded in doing just that.”
Welcome to the minigames
In his speech, the President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, said on behalf of the members of his Board of Directors: “I warmly welcome each of you to the official opening ceremony of the Pacific Mini Games 2022.”
He said about a year ago some were unsure if they could meet for the 11th edition of the Pacific Mini Games and some even doubted the NMI’s ability to be ready to host the event.
“But here we are, despite the challenges posed by Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018, followed by obstacles thrown in our way by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have the NMI ‘Rose to the Challenge’ and have met it with flying colors . My faith in our Pacific Island natives has been vindicated. All critics have been proven wrong. Given the opportunity and the support, our people in the Pacific, especially the NMI people, as I just said, will always be up to the task.”
Lakhan added: “I have to single out Governor Ralph Torres because he was a tower of strength for our Games Organizing Committee. Mr. Governor, allow me to say that without your support we probably would not be in the shape we are in tonight. Please accept our sincere thanks for your commitment to bringing these games to a conclusion. And for the Athletes of the Pacific, I say to you all that the stage is set for a promising, excellent game.”
“Proud of you all”
Governor Torres said in his speech: “To all the athletes who will be competing in the nine different sporting events, I want to congratulate you on your commitment to health and sport as your training to get here takes hard work and dedication. The NMI is honored to offer you every opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities and to represent your islands and countries. We are proud of you all.”
For the latest updates for the Pacific Mini Games 2022, visit https://northernmarianas2022.com/.