Micronesian Games Organizing Committee executive secretary Bill Sakovich is such a busy man these days that he doesn’t even have time to look at the calendar and see that the 6th Micronesian Games is only a little over two weeks away.
Holding office temporarily at Division of Sports and Recreation acting director Joe Lizama’s room inside the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, Sakovich said there are still a lot of loose ends that need to be tied down before the start of the Micro Games on June 23.
“To be honest, I haven’t even counted the days [left before the start of the Micro Games]. I do know that there’s a lot to do, but I know that things are moving along,” he said.
Sakovich said Saipan per se has no trouble hosting the 1,100-1,200 athletes and officials expected for the Games, but the overall impression the Commonwealth would leave to its island neighbors is of paramount importance.
“The basic facilities are there. They can come in and play basketball, play baseball, play volleyball, and so on. That’s not the problem. The problem is making it look nice to accommodate spectators and cleaning it up,” he said.
Sakovich also said that as it stands, it looks like the MGOC may only need the Marianas High School to house athletes.
“We talked about putting up 1,400 athletes and splitting it up 700 and 700 at MHS and Hopwood Junior High School. But now we’re down to around 800 that will be staying at the Olympic Village,” he said. “We will just squeeze in an extra hundred here (MHS). It will be a little cramp but it’s going to be a lot easier [in terms of coordination],” he said.
The most current numbers show Palau sending 237 athletes, followed by Pohnpei with 187, Guam with 150, Yap with 125, Kosrae with 79, Chuuk with 65, Republic of Marshall Islands with 60, and Kiribati with 23.
Added all up, a total of 847 athletes, excluding CNMI athletes, are expected for the Games. Sakovich, however, said that not all of Guam’s athletes will be staying at MHS, since 90 of them have opted to stay at the hotels.
If one added the couple of hundreds of officials—technical officials, federation bigwigs, and referees, “we’re still talking at around 1,100 athletes and officials coming here for the Games,” said Sakovich.
He said arrangements would have international federation officials staying at Saipan Grand Hotel and referees, umpires, and technical officials billeted at Sun Palace Inn, which is just next door to the Oleai Sports Complex.
Sakovich said the MGOC is also awaiting the arrival of 1,000 futons, which is expected to ship in next week.