The countdown for the 2021 Pacific Mini Games started last Friday when the CNMI received the Pacific Games Council flag from Vanuatu.
Northern Marianas Sports Association president Michael White received the Pacific Games Council flag last weekend during the closing ceremony for the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila.
“It was an honor to represent the CNMI at the turnover ceremony. NMSA will keep the flag until 2021, when it will proudly wave over the next Pacific Mini Games right here in the CNMI,” White said in a message sent to Saipan Tribune.
The NMSA head was also interviewed by Radio New Zealand and said that the Commonwealth will host a “lean and simple” Pacific Mini Games in four years time. White, in the same interview, added that all sporting facilities are already in place and just needed improvements, while the host nation will be working on toilet and shower blocks that need federal funding.
NMSA, during its presentation to the PGC’s general assembly in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in 2014, with the approval of the late governor Eloy S. Inos, has estimated the cost of the Mini Games at $1,160,000. Of the over $1-million budget for the event, $650,000 will come from participation fees from the 22 nations, $250,000 from the government, and the remaining $260,000 from the private sector through sponsorships.
The association has also offered 12 sports for the Mini Games. The list includes athletics, badminton, golf, tennis, va’a (canoe), volleyball (indoor and beach), baseball, sailing, swimming, triathlon, weightlifting, and wrestling.
Meanwhile, White lauded the small Team CNMI that competed in Vanuatu.
“Our weightlifters can compete with anyone. The CNMI can be proud that Angel San Nicolas won a bronze medal, our first medal since the baseball gold in 2011. He just missed two more bronze medals by 1 kg. Ray Santos was close also. Our basketball players were very competitive, and with a little extra work can be in the medal hunt at the next Games. Our track and field athletes are improving all the time, and if they keep it up, I have high hopes for the future for them as well,” White said.