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Regional News

Marshall Islands to host first Micro Games

MAJURO — The Marshall Islands has received the nod from the Micronesian Games Council meeting in Yap to host the 10th Micronesian Games in 2022.

The Micronesian Games Council oversees the every-four-year competition and met last Sunday during the currently ongoing Micronesian Games competition in Yap, which is part of the Federated States of Micronesia.

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While the Micronesian Games Council met Sunday in Yap, voting to accept the Marshall Islands bid to host the 2022 Games, the Marshall Islands women’s volleyball team was making history by defeating Team Guam in a thrilling five-set match in the ongoing Micronesian Games. Pictured here, Marshall Islands players get set to block a spike by Guam. The Marshalls women’s team remained undefeated through Wednesday this week heading into Friday’s championship round to conclude this year’s regional tournament.  9th Micronesian Games Media photo

The Northern Marianas had also submitted a bid to host the next regional competition, but withdrew its bid allowing the Marshall Islands to be the only one of the table.

In the lead up to Sunday’s decision, Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine put her weight behind the Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee’s bid to host the next Micro Games. In a letter last week to Micronesian Games Council President Bill Keldermans, Heine said the Marshall Islands government “wholeheartedly supports the bid of the Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee to host the 2022 Micronesian Games.”

Because Majuro lacks most of the sports infrastructure to host the Games, the bid will require heavy government investment into facilities. President Heine said the government is ready to shoulder this responsibility.

 “We understand that by taking responsibility to host the Micronesian Games we, the Marshall Islands Government, must also assume the responsibility to build the necessary facilities and infrastructure,” Heine said. “The Marshall Islands Government is committed to provide the necessary budgetary requirements to support hosting the Micronesian Games.”

She emphasized that the National Olympic Committee “has our complete support in the bid to host the 2022 Micronesian Games.”

The President pointed out that the Micronesian Games “gives our youth positive alternatives and healthy outlets to express themselves.”

This will be the first time for Marshall Islands to host the Micronesian Games, which started in 1969 with Saipan hosting the first competition. A gap of over 20 years followed until Saipan again hosted the Games in 1990. The 1990 Games put the competition on a four-year cycle. Overall, Saipan has hosted the Games three times, Palau and Pohnpei twice each, Guam and Yap once.

At Sunday’s Micronesian Games Council meeting, the body elected new officers, selecting Joab Sigrah from the FSM as President to replace outgoing President Keldermans of Palau.