Expect a scaled-down 7th Micronesian Games in 2010 after the Marshall Islands could not put up the same Games like the previous ones held in other member island nations.
The Micronesian Games Council has awarded the hosting rights of the 2010 Micronesian Games to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, bringing the seventh edition of the quadrennial event to Majuro.
Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association president Michael A. White said that representatives of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the CNMI, Kiribati, and Nauru held an informal meeting last month during the Oceania National Olympic Committee meeting in Fiji.
White said Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee secretary general Terry Sasser told the group that they are committed to put up a Micro Games but could not host the way like Saipan did in 2006.
Saipan hosted the 6th Micro Games where athletics, baseball, basketball, fast-pitch softball, golf, Micronesian All-Around, outrigger canoeing, swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, underwater spearfishing, volleyball—beach and indoor—and wrestling were the offered events.
Sasser said during their meeting that the Games would be scaled down since they could not offer too many sports because they don’t have the facilities to hold the events.
“If the Micro Games pushes through at the Marshall Islands it would be a pretty stunted version,” said White.
He added Sasser would inform the nine other member nations of the MGC in the next two weeks about the status of the 2010 Micro Games in the Marshall Islands.
If the Marshall Islands would back out of hosting the Micro Games Palau, which hosted the 2005 Pacific Mini Games and Guam, which hosted the 1994 edition, are willing to take charge of holding the Games.
The Marshall Islands bested the FSM’s Yap in earning the hosting rights of the 7th Micro Games. Kosrae also submitted their bid to host the 2010 Micro Games but pulled out early last year due to funding problems.
The Marshall Islands earned the most number of votes from representatives from the CNMI, Palau, Kiribati, Yap, the Marshall Islands, Guam, Chuuk, Kosrae, and Pohnpeii.
Yap was supposed to host the 6th Micronesian Games in 2006, but had to withdraw after most of its sports facilities were damaged by a strong typhoon that hit the island in early 2004.
Saipan sent its intention to take over the hosting of the 6th Micro Games during the VII South Pacific Mini Games in Koror, Palau in 2005. The MGC finally awarded the hosting to the CNMI before the end of 2005 and in June 2006, Saipan welcomed more than 1,000 athletes and officials from eight other Micronesian islands.
The Marshall Islands is also the newest member of the International Olympic Committee in the Micronesia region. Palau, Guam, FSM, Nauru, and Kiribati are also IOC members.
The Marshall Islands, a former U.S. territory, became the 203rd IOC member on Feb. 12. The IOC accepted the islands’ National Olympic Committee in an executive board meeting during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.