Team CNMI athletes and officials gathered together last Friday at the Kanoa Resort before heading to Apia, Samoa to participate in the 2019 Pacific Games.
Tennis, athletics, swimming, va’a, beach volleyball, badminton, and golf had majority of their delegates present at the send-off ceremony sponsored by the Tan Siu Lin Foundation, and expressed their readiness for the Pacific Games that will kick off this Sunday.
Rep. Marco Peter (R-Saipan) was one of the attendees in last weekend’s event, as he will be suiting up for the CNMI National Golf Team. It will be his second time to represent the Commonwealth in a regional tournament, having donned the colors of the CNMI (for indoor volleyball) in the 1998 Micronesian Games in Palau. He received the last call up for national team duties, replacing junior golfer Edward Lee, who moved to Florida with his family last month.
“In sports, just like in life, you have to be ready and willing to step up. I am just happy and honored that at this time of my life, I was able to get another chance to represent our islands,” said Peter, who will be teaming up with Joe “Kamikaze” Camacho, Ryan Kim, Sebastian Camacho, and J.J. Atalig.
Another old-timer, Tyce Mister, is representing the CNMI, but this year—his fifth time to compete for the islands—is extra special.
“To be able to represent the CNMI is always an honor and to go there and compete with my son (Logan) is priceless,” said Mister, who will be playing in the beach volleyball tournament.
Joining the golf and beach volleyball teams in the send-off ceremony were vaa’s’ Mayiah Duenas, Kalea Andrew, Jack Aahn, Steven Goodwin, Jason Tarkong, and Justin Andrew; tennis’ Colin Ramsey, Bobby Cruz, Isabel Heras, Ken Song, Malika Miyawaki, Tania and Lydia Tan, and Jeff Race (Colin Sinclair, Robbie Schorr, and Carol Lee are also on the squad); athletics’ Greg Iginoef and Tania Tan; badminton’s Andreu Galvez, Nicole Malasarte, Janelle and Jordan Pangilinan, Daniel and Ezekiel Macario; and swimming’s Richard Sikkel, Juhn Tenorio, Aika Watanabe, Sophia Gauran, Jinju Thompson, Lennosuke Suzuki, and David Boyer.
“The Samoa Games is a great opportunity for our young team to go back and swim in a 50-meter pool again. Our goal is to make it to the finals and hopefully snag some medals,” said Sikkel, who will coach the CNMI swimmers.
Northern Marianas Sports Association president Mike White, John Davis of weightlifting, and chef de mission Paul Plunkett also attended the send-off ceremony.
“Everybody do you best, bring back some medals, and make the CNMI proud,” White said.