Australian weightlifter Eileen Cikamatana arrived on Saipan last Wednesday in time for today’s opening ceremony for the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022.
The 22-year-old gold medalist of the 2020 and 2019 International Weightlifting Federation World Cup and 2019 Grand Prix said she’s coming to the Mini Games bereft of expectations.
“There’s no expectations for me. My coach does all the calls and all I do is train and lift. So whatever he says goes. I don’t put expectations in my mind during competition because that just doesn’t work [for me]. If you put expectations on yourself and it doesn’t go then you’d only be upset with yourself.”
Cikamatana said instead of giving yourself expectations you might as well focus on what you can do.
“Because in training you train for this and then in competition you just give your best and everything just happens,” she said with a wide grin.
A first-timer in the CNMI, Cikamatana said she’s totally amazed with the islands and even her accommodations at Pacific Islands Club Saipan.
“It’s a beautiful place and a beautiful island even though the travel was a bit complicated, at least we made it. PIC Saipan is a beautiful place and I’m enjoying my stay there and I got a good night’s sleep last night especially since the training was at 9am the next day,” she said.
Cikamatana also had good things to say about the weightlifting venue at the Marianas High School Gymnasium.
“Looking at the competition venue it’s superb. I haven’t seen such a setup and I’m impressed…Training gym was superb too, but the heat. I was telling my training partner you don’t need a sauna to lose weight, you just train and you lose weight.”
Cikamatana, who will compete in the women’s 87-kg division, has this inspiring piece of advice for everyone out there:
“If you have a dream don’t give up too easily. If you have a dream, chase it until you grab it with your two hands. If there’s an opportunity grab it straight away and don’t waste it and regret it late because opportunity only comes once in a lifetime. If you believe you can do it, then do it. If you don’t believe you can do it, then you won’t be able to achieve it.”