MEDIA RELEASE: 2017 Pacific Mini Games - an unprecedented success on and off the field of play
December 22, 2017
In the aftermath of what was an amazing fortnight for sport in Vanuatu, VASANOC – the Pacific Games Association – would like to congratulate all the Athletes and Officials who represented Vanuatu and performed so well at the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila.
VASANOC would also like to express its deep appreciation for support from the Vanuatu Government, each Minister and Ministry, the Chinese Government and for the commitment over the past year by the Van2017 Organising Committee and its sponsors and stakeholders.
In addition, VASANOC would like to sincerely thank its own Board and staff, all of whom have worked tirelessly along with the National Sports Federations, to ensure Vanuatu hosted an outstanding event.
24 nations took part in the Games, participating in 14 Sports including for the first time at a Pacific Mini Games, two Para Sports with 20 out of the 24 of the countries receiving medals.
Team Vanuatu’s unprecedented success was due to strong dedication and teamwork from both management and athletes in striving to excel and thereby create the foundation for future successes.
It was an outstanding performance by any measure with a total of 77 medals – featuring 22 Gold, 29 Silver and 26 Bronze medals (with Judo having secured seven medals in total not six as previously listed).
This total has outstripped the previous best total of 22 medals at any Pacific Games with the Gold medal tally alone, finishing at more than four times what the record had previously stood at with five.
Vanuatu’s best Silver medal count had been eight and its Van2017 tally trebled that, with the total Bronze won more than doubling the previous record of 12.
An outstanding performance from New Caledonia saw it top the gold medal tally with 47, followed by PNG with 33, Fiji third with 23 and Vanuatu – again with a best ever – finishing fourth just one gold medal behind.
VASANOC would also like to highlight the coming together of so many ni-Vanuatu who took on the many and varying roles as volunteers and put smiles on the faces of all those who visited both Port Vila and the Games.
The volunteers were in many ways the backbone of this event and characterised the spirit of the Games with their dedication and never-failing smiles.
CEO VASANOC and Chef De Mission for these Pacific Mini Games, Henry Tavoa, could not be more delighted with the outcome of the past fortnight – both from a Team Vanuatu aspect and for what this means to Vanuatu’s place in the Pacific sporting landscape.
“Vanuatu is now richer than ever before with the trained volunteers - staff, event managers, technical sports experts, security personnel, traffic control, catering, media, medical staff and in many more areas,” said Tavoa.
“The Spirit of Vanuatu was truly ignited by these Games and we pray it will continue to burn brightly and brighter in the years to come.”
“The Athletes indeed won the medals but VASANOC believes ALL of Vanuatu was the ultimate winner in every sense!”
The next Pacific Mini Games will be hosted by the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI) in 2021.
More immediately on the horizon though are the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia followed by the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
So there is no doubt this instalment of the Pacific Mini Games has laid the foundation for many future sporting successes for both Vanuatu and across the Oceania region.
Finally, VASANOC would like to say ‘Tank yu tumas Vanuatu’ and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Let’s make 2018 even bigger and better on the international, regional and local sporting fields.