An air of excitement and anticipation filled the MicroGames opening ceremony; cars were caught in traffic, along with those who were about to witness it. Althetes from each jurisdiction crowded the road, preparing for their entrance onto the field.
Team Palau led the procession, marching to cheers from families and friends seated on the bleachers. Then came the rest of the teams, with different entrance parades and music, being welcomed by fans and spectators.
Alongside the enjoyment from the teams, entertainments were also included in the ceremony: the inscrutable parachute drop by Mr. Tim Ono, a traditional dance, tupwki parano, by a group of young Mwokillese, tradtional sakau pounding by local men and the theme song, performed by the Kitti SDA youth.
In Pohnpei, it is tradition to pound kava roots and serve it as a drink, that Pohnpeians call "Sakau". During special occasions, such as this, they serve this traditional drink to high traditional leaders. The delegations, aside from Pohnpei, all watched, intrigued, as the local men with grass skirts pounded the kava roots in a rhythmic way.
We were able to interview some of the athletes after the ceremony, all who we know is their first time actually being an athlete in the microgames and also visiting here for the very first time.
When asked about the traditional dance, "it was pretty cool," Cristian Nicolescu replied. Mr. Nicolostu is an athlete from palau, joining the football team and wrestling team. Alongside him, was his friend Blesan Tarkong also in the wrestling team. Tarkong has been partcipating in wrestling most likely his whole life, "my dads the wrestling coach, so i've been doing this ever since diapers," said Tarkong. By the looks on their faces, both wrestlers seemed to have enjoyed themselves at the ceremony.
Roaming around the althetes village later the night, we were able to get a chance to interview four other athletes; these include,Ms. Christiana Bill from the Kosraen Table tennis team, Mr. Dash Alfred from the Marshall swimming team, enthusiastic Basketball player Mr. Action Aiashy from the Chuuk team and the competitve CNMI Baseball player Mr. Jared Sablan.
"The traditional dance scared me," laughed Aiashy, "but on the other hand, the traditional pounding of the sakau amazed me."
With such a warm and exciting beginning, the 2014 Microgames is off to a great start and we can that the days to follow can surely be expected to be the same.
By, Melanie Edward and Starr Perman
United Youth Media
Last Modified on 22/07/2014 14:39