Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Team FSM to Participate at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSMNOC): July 28, 2008 - The Federated States of Micronesia plans to send five athletes to this year's Olympic Games competing in weightlifting, swimming and track and field.

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be held from August 8 to 24. The FSM sports delegation will include: 5 athletes, 5 coaches, 1 Chef de Mission, 1 doctor, 1 press attaché, 2 Olympic Youth Camp participants, FSMNOC President and Secretary General. The small FSM Government VIP delegation will be led by FSM President Emanuel Mori, Secretary of Health and Socials Affairs Dr. Futalina Skilling, Yap Governor Sebastian Anefal, FSM Senator Tiwitor Aritos and two other guests.

The FSM athletes will be led by Manuel Minginfel, male weightlifter from Yap State, who qualified for the Beijing Olympics in October 2006 at the IWF World Weightlifting Championships winning a silver medal in the clean and jerk. In 2006, Manuel Minginfel, FSM Olympic weightlifter, was awarded a three year Beijing Olympic Games Athlete Scholarship funded by the International Olympic Committee. Minginfel left the Oceania Weightlifting Institute, located in New Caledonia, in May and has since been training 6 hours a day in Yap preparing for the games. He will compete in the Men's 62 kilogram weightlifting division at 10:00 am, Monday, August 11.

Kerson Hadley and Debra Daniel, both from Pohnpei State, were selected as wild card participants and will compete in the 50 meter free style in swimming. Hadley and Daniel were award Samsung Oceania Sports Development Initiative Training Scholarships in April and have since been training on Guam under the supervision of coach Sweeter Daniel. They will compete in the 50 meter freestyle in Beijing on Thursday and Friday, August 14 and 15.

Jack Howard and Maria Ikelap, both from Chuuk State, were selected as wild card participants and will compete in the 100 meter dash in track and field. Howard and Ikelap received FSM National Olympic Committee Olympic athlete training grants to prepare for the games. Howard has been training the past 6 months on Guam with his personal coach Carl Cruz and Ikelap has been training on Chuuk under the supervision of coach Marcellus Akapito. They will compete in the 100 meter dash in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, August 18 and 19.

The FSM had hoped to send a wrestler to the Beijing Olympics but Keitani Graham, Chuuk State, was not selected as a wild card athlete by the International Wrestling Federation. Graham competed in the Olympic wrestling qualifiers in Rome and Serbia in May. The FSM hopes to send a wrestler to the next Olympic Games in London, England in 2012.

The Chef de Mission (chief of delegation) for the FSM will be Alik Isaac from Kosrae State with Dr. Felix Yomai, delegation doctor and Jay Alfonso, delegation press attaché making up the rest of the FSM sport delegation that will reside in the official Beijing Olympic Games Village. Also attending the games will be FSM National Olympic Committee President Berney Martin and Secretary General Jim Tobin.

The FSM National Olympic Committee also selected two FSM participants, Michael Kigimnang (Yap State) and Roxie Moya (Pohnpei State) both Xavier High School students to attend the Olympic Youth Camp. The youth camp from August 5 to 17 will have two participants from the 205 Olympic nations. The campers will watch the opening ceremony of the games then tour China for the remaining 10 days.

The FSM sports delegation departs arrives in Beijing on Tuesday, August 5, with the opening ceremony on Friday, August 8, closing ceremony on Sunday, August 24 and depart Beijing on Tuesday, August 26.

The FSM National Olympic Committee wishes to thank the International Olympic Committee, Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, Office of the President, FSM National Government, FSM Congress, Embassy of the People's Republic of China, Palm Terrace Shopping Centre and the Bank of the FSM for sponsoring the FSM delegation traveling to Beijing.

24 hour live television broadcast of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be shown on ICTV on channel 28 starting August 6th provided free to ICTV subscribers from the FSM National Olympic Committee through a special grant from the President of the International Olympic Committee.

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