The 7th Micronesian Games Open in Palau
Koror, Palau (FSM Information Services): August 3, 2010 - The Opening Ceremony for the 7th Micronesian Games was held on Sunday August 1, 2010, at 5PM at the Palau Track and Field. The ceremony showcased a parade of athletes, delegations, and game officials with their flags from ten island nations of Micronesia: the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae, Yap, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands, Guam, Kiribati, Nauru and the host country Palau.
More than 1,000 competitors are participating in the games covering 14 sporting events. These cover the classic sports of athletics, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, swimming, triathlon, weightlifting, wrestling, table tennis and tennis; but also the more traditional sports of outrigger canoeing, spear-fishing and the "Micro All Around" which involves climbing coconut trees, husking coconuts, grating them and diving.
President Mori accompanied President Toribiong of Palau to the Opening Ceremony and witnessed, with the many fans present in the bleachers, the Athletes' Parade, the Micronesian Games Flag Raising Ceremony, the Torch Entrance and Lighting of the Games Cauldron, as well as performances by the Ngarachemayong and Ngardmau Dancers of Palau. Amongst the many dignitaries in attendance were John Ehsa, Governor of Pohnpei, Robert Weilbacher, Governor of Kosrae, Sebastian Anefal, Governor of Yap, and Johnson Elimo, Lieutenant Governor of Chuuk.
"The Games have served and will continue to serve to strengthen the age old traditional ties that exist among the people of Micronesia and to promote goodwill, mutual understanding, and respect among our people," said Toribiong. He also declared the 7th Micronesian Games as the first Green Games of the Micronesian region, encouraging all participants to be conscientious of the natural environment of Palau and to engage in environmentally friendly practices. The Micronesian Games first began in the Pacific Region in 1969.
Following his speech, Toribiong announced the presence of a surprise guest: Joseph Simeon from Pohnpei. Simeon left Pohnpei to go fishing back in May and after experiencing engine difficulties with his boat, drifted west for a total of 2 months and 29 days before being finally found in the Palauan waters. Toribiong expressed his amazement at Simeon's miraculous good fortune and joked that Simeon has been getting ready to come attend the games since May. The spectators and the thousand atheletes cheered wildly for Simeon.
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