Marshall Islands welcomed into their home from home

Marshall Islands Minister for Sport, Tony Muller, described the spectacle as “awesome and goosebumps are the only words that come to mind.”

With less than 24 hours until the Opening Ceremony of the games of the 31st Olympiad, the athletes and delegates of the Marshall Islands have been officially welcomed into the Athletes' village in Rio de Janeiro.

In true Brazilian style, Team MHL were treated to a show full of Samba and other forms of cultural Brazilian dancing which appeared to fill the athletes with inspiration for what is sure to be a fortnight of competition, fun and fiesta.

After an insight into traditional Brazilian culture, the athletes were addressed by the Mayor of the Olympic village, Janeth Arcain. The former Olympic medalist who congratulated the athletes on their success of reaching the Games, was keen to also advocate the sportsmanship behind the Games, something that forms the basis for key Olympic values when in competition.

Following on from this, the formalities of each of the six nations present at this particular ceremony were given the chance to exchange gifts with the mayor bringing a small cultural piece of their homelands to the Games. Mack Capelle, Chef De Mission and National Olympic Committee representative for the Marshall Islands presented Arcain with traditional Marshallese 'amimono', a handicraft necklace and hat.

To conclude the ceremony, the dancers signed off with more Brazilian Samba and invited the athletes to try their hand at the dance, to which Marshallese athletes duly obliged, and how they did too!

By Simon Thompson of The Reporters' Academy


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