Veteran athlete and CNMI Public School System Athletic Program director Nick Gross has been named Team NMI chef de mission to the 2023 Pacific Games and he recently attended a meeting in the Solomon Islands to gain more information about next year’s competition.
Gross attended the CDM Meeting in Honiara last Saturday and also joined other nations participating in the 2023 Solomon Islands Pacific Games in site visits of venues and athletes villages.
“The amount of ongoing construction, planning, and preparations being done by the GOC (Games Organizing Committee), Prime Ministers Administration, Pacific Games Council, and other stakeholders is quite incredible. The investment in sporting facilities to support the delivery of the Games will allow our NMI athletes the opportunity to compete in truly world-class venues,” Gross said.
“Although the travel and time required to attend this ‘one year out Chef de Mission’ meeting has been long and cumbersome, I, along with the Pacific Games Associations (PGAs) really appreciated the updates and information that will greatly assist the NMI in preparing our delegation for competing in this quadrennial event,” he added.
Gross and the representatives of 19 other countries toured the 17 sports venues and six athletes’ villages (schools) plus the main dining hall and other facilities that are still being constructed. The GOC, in partnership with the Solomon Islands government and assistance of numerous regional partners, has invested close to $120 million in facilities and other projects for the Games. These include major road infrastructure projects, the new 10,000-seater capacity stadium, aquatics center, six-court tennis center, and indoor recreation center.
The 2023 Solomon Islands Pacific Games will run from Nov. 17 to Dec. 2 with the athletes’ villages opening as early as Nov. 14 and closing on Dec. 4, while the opening ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 19. The games will feature 27 sports.
Meanwhile, the Northern Marianas Sports Association and its member-federations look forward to Gross’ return to Saipan to gain detailed information that will help athletes and officials in their preparations for the 2023 Solomon Islands Pacific Games. Gross will be back on island this Wednesday. The NMSA also thanked Gross for accepting the challenges and responsibilities that go with his designation as Team NMI chef de mission to next year’s games.
“Nick has been active member of the NMI sports community for more than a decade—serving as an athlete, coach, and administrator—and the work that he has done through the years, including those for the 2022 Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games, are testament to his commitment in our combined efforts to push for the continued development of sports in our islands. With his dedication to NMI sports, we are very confident that he will represent the islands well as Team NMI chef de mission and our athletes and officials will be in good hands,” NMSA president Jerry Tan said. (PR)