Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

3rd FSM games underway in Yap

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): July 27, 2001 - On Sunday evening, July 22, 2001, President Leo A. Falcam declared the Third Federated States of Micronesia Games in the State of Yap, officially open.

The idea of a National Sports Championship was fostered by the FSM Congress, and in 1995, the 1st FSM Games was successfully held in Pohnpei. Two years later, Kosrae State held the 2nd FSM Games.

Considering the financial constraints, after the 2nd Games, it was decided that the Games will be held every four years instead of two.

The State of Yap is host to the 3rd Games with its newly completed state-of-the-art sports facilities and fields. The Games are scheduled until the end of the month with the following match events between the States: national championships in athletics (track and field), baseball, basketball, canoe racing, Micronesian All-Around, softball, soccer, spearfishing, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.

The opening ceremony as reported by the official website of the games is as follows:

The opening ceremony for the 3rd FSM Games was held at the new Yap Sports Complex from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday evening the 22nd of July. First, the dignitaries from the four states and other nations were introduced. They were presented with leis and then ushered to their seats in the grandstand.

The seating of the dignitaries was followed by the entry parade of the 800 athletes from the four states, games officials and games committee members and volunteers. The parade was led by the Yap Police Drill Team. Each delegation was preceded by two Yapese in traditional dress carrying a banner with the delegation name and a star athlete carrying their state flag.

After one circuit of the track, each delegation lined up facing the grandstand. This was followed by the drill team raising the six flags (Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, the national flag, and the FSM national flag).

After the invocation, opening remarks were made by the co-chairmen of the Games Organizing Committee, the Honorable Robert Ruechoo, Speaker of the Yap State Legislature, and Lt. Governor Andrew Ytilman. Additional opening remarks were made the Honorable Chief Kenmed, chairman of the Council of Chiefs, the Honorable Vincent Figir, Governor of the State of Yap, and the Honorable Eliuel Pretrick, president of the FSM National Olympic Committee. The keynote address was given by his Excellency Leo Falcam, President of the Federated States of Micronesia.

The lighting of the Olympic torch was the next part of the ceremony. Four outstanding athletes (one from each of the states) ran a torch relay, each running a one-fourth lap of the track. The fourth runner and the lighter of the Olympic torch was Manuel Minginfel, champion weightlifter of Yap State.

The ceremony concluded with two traditional Yapese bamboo dances, one from Nimar village and one from Atliw village.

Over 800 athletes form Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Chuuk are participating in the Games.

In addition to the simultaneous live broadcast throughout the four States, game updates can be viewed at the official Yap Games website: www.fsmgames.fm


For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356
e-mail: fsmpio@mail.fm
http://www.fsmpio.fm/