The head of CNMI delegation to the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 said while not all Team NMI athletes medaled in the Games, he considers all of them winners.
Team NMI chef de mission Bob Coldeen said “Team NMI did more than rise to the occasion, it jumped over it” after finishing third to Games powerhouses Papua New Guinea and Tahiti in the medal standings.
“When we look at the scoreboard, it’s like we are sharing the medals. Every one of them is for Team NMI. We had 124 athletes, all winners. I never saw a loser.”
It can be recalled that the Sports Hall of Famer encouraged every member of Team NMI to soak up the experience of the next 10 days of the Games during a Team Presentation event last June 14 at the Saipan World Resort.
“You are also playing for your future past. In the future when you are ancient like me, this will be your past so you want it to be as memorable and wonderful as possible. Seize the moment and know this, not every winner gets a medal. Winning is doing the best you have ever done. Personal satisfaction is pure gold that cannot be stolen or lost or misplaced. You are your own personal gold standard.”
Coldeen also made special mention of the CNMI National Baseball Team’s historic 12-9 win against archrival Guam in the gold medal game last Friday with over 1,000 fans encircling the Francisco “Tan’Ko” M. Palacios Baseball Field.
“Josh Jones and NMI Baseball pulled off a gutsy, epic performance, one that will live famously forever thanks to the internet. Palacios field had never witnessed a performance like that. That win, coming on the last night after all the other (team) sports finished, was the star on top of the Pacific Mini Games 2022.”
Saipan Tribune earlier broke down the 16 gold, 13 silver, and nine bronze medals won by the host team during the Game, which was held from June 16 to 25 on Saipan, Tinian (consolation matches for beach volleyball), and Rota (triathlon).
Weightlifting handed Team NMI 11 gold medals, with Ray Santos and David Barnhouse getting three apiece, Angel San Nicolas and Jason Limes gaining two each, and Joey Colisao adding one.
Tennis provided the home team three gold medals, with Colin Sinclair prevailing in the men’s singles and teaming up with Robbie Schorr in the men’s doubles finals win. Sinclair, Schorr, Bobby Cruz, and Colin Ramsey also topped the men’s team event.
Golf’s Zhimin Jin also made it to the gold medalists list for Team NMI with her victory in the women’s individual event, while the NMI National Baseball Team capped the hosts’ gold rush in the Mini Games with a 12-9 finals triumph over rival Guam last Friday.
Weightlifting also gave Team NMI the most silvers with 10 (three each from Leo Apelo and Antonette Labausa, two from Colisao, and one apiece from Leowel Cristobal and Angel San Nicolas). Athletics added two, thanks to Orrin Pharmin and Denise Myers, while beach volleyball’s Logan Mister and Andrew Johnson chipped in one.
For the bronze medal tally, athletics’ Dennis Borja and the women’s 4x100m relay team (Casey Cruz, Zarinae Sapong, Maria Quitugua, Kina Rangamar) contributed one each. Golf’s Franco Santos, JJ Atalig, Joshua Atalig, and Zhi Yun Li, triathlon’s Isaiah Aleksenko, Leo Wania, Kathy Ruszala, and Heather Brook, tennis’ Sinclair and Isabel Heras, and the va’a women’s V12 team (Danica Calvo, Elaine Sablan, Elizabeth Tenorio, Erryne Dasalla, Gerlyn Libunao, Heather Calderwood, Jenisha Dubrall, Kaya Rasa, Rica Concepcion, Teresa Sablan, Victoria Aldan, Vinalynn Oronigo), and weightlifting’s Riella Ann Ichiou and Jason Limes were the other bronze medalists.
Team NMI went on to win medals in all nine sports featured in the Mini Games, as badminton’s Janelle Pangilinan and Jenine Savellano prevailed in their bronze medal match in the women’s doubles against Tahiti’s Hortensia Manzanal and Waianuhea Teheura, 21-12, 21-9.