Pacific pride on full display in Saipan at Mini Games
Over in the Northern Marianas, the 2022 Pacific Mini Games kicks off with a parade of nations as teams from 20 countries dig in their heels as the games finally begin on land and sea.
Ben Babauta, CEO, Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games, announced, "We are tiny and mighty. We can do what we can do to the best of our ability."
The Pacific’s very best is on full display as the Pacific Mini Games roars on this week. On Friday, an estimated 5,000 people attended the opening ceremony where fire lit the torch relay and drones lit up the night sky - celebration before the fierce competition.
Jason Tarkong, representing the CNMI in the Va’a (traditional seafaring vessel) competition, said, "We are looking forward to the challenge and I am sure we will do well, I am sure we will do really well."
On Monday, the games’ much-anticipated va’a competition kicked off with a blessing. And they’re ready. Miriam Terlaje, the Team Guam Girls Team Captain, "We are ready, Guam. So that is a good reassurance. We are here to do our best."
The games began with a rainbow resting on the water lanes as athletes navigate Saipan’s waters. Tino, the Va’a Coach with Team Palau, "May the best man win and women win in this event."
Tim with Team CNMI Va’a, "It is war in the water. Gotta defend these waters. This is our home field. We’ve got love for this sport and love for these countries, but it is go time."
The games have officially begun.