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    Saturday, June 23, 2018-2:00:32A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMI welcomes Micronesian athletes

THE CNMI on Wednesday greeted the other Micronesian athletes and the officials of the Oceania Athletics Council with an island-style welcome and Hafa Adai spirit at the Surfclub beach in Chalan Kanoa.

Northern Marianas Athletics President Ramon A. Tebuteb who leads the organizing committee welcomed the guests on behalf of Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres who couldn’t make it due to other equally important commitment.

Northern Marianas Athletics President Ramon A. Tebuteb delivers his welcome remarks on behalf of the Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Micronesian Area Championships at the Surfclub Beach. Photo by David Butterfield

Tebuteb noted that opening ceremonies of big athletics events are traditionally held at the track and field. But this year, they decided to welcome the guests, island-style with Hafa Adai spirit.

Bishop Ryan Jimenez led the benediction while Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation Chairman John Paul Sablan joined Tebuteb in welcoming the guests.

This year’s Micronesian Area Championships drew athletes from Guam, Palau, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Federated States of Micronesia’s Chuuk, Yap and Pohnpei.

International Association of Athletics Federations Oceania Area Group Representative and Council Member Geoff Gardner, Oceania Athletics Council Executive Director Yvonne Mullins and other OAA officials were present in the ceremony.

Gardner thanked Sablan and the rest of the Legislature for the support and for taking the lead in recognizing the sports and the importance it plays for the youth across the region. He congratulated them as expressed hope “the spirit became infectious throughout the Micronesian.”

 “It is fantastic to be back here in Micronesia particularly here on Saipan, and I think this is my fourth or fifth visit in this wonderful part of the world even though it’s difficult to get here these days and hopefully airlines would resolve that so that the connection among the Pacific become stronger because Micronesia has vital important role to play in the Pacific Oceania family,” he said.

It was also great to see the new facility at Oleai Sports Complex, he said noting that it has been upgraded

“And Ray [Tebuteb] gave me an assurance they will do the very best to ensure that facility remains in the tough condition for the benefit of the the athletes going forward. Thank for that commitment,” Gardner said.

He also thanked those who traveled a long distance, not just those from Micronesian region but also those from Oceania office, the officials, who took their time out to assist in this event.

He also acknowledged the athletes because “without you most of these things just do not happen.” He was also pleased to see those for many years have taken part in the athletics development in the region.  Although they are not longer athletes they stepped up to the plate for administrative roles and team management.