The CNMI Pacific Mini Games Oversight Committee has proposed to move the quadrennial competition to 2022.
The suggestion is in response to the Pacific Games Council’s request to the CNMI to consider making changes with the dates for the 2021 Pacific Mini Games to avoid conflict with the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.
“We have reported to the council that the CNMI Pacific Mini Games Oversight Committee has agreed to move our games to Summer 2022 due to the rescheduled Olympic Games in 2021,” committee chair Alex Sablan said.
He added that they are planning to meet with the CNMI Public School System and other involved government agencies to discuss the 2022 Mini Games once it’s safe to do so and the Commonwealth has successfully battled the pandemic.
Sablan also said that Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and the members of the committee are all aware and supportive of the changes in the dates of the Mini Games, but the greater priority now is to deal with the coronavirus crisis and look after the safety and welfare of CNMI residents.
Originally, the Mini Games, which the CNMI will be hosting for the first time, was scheduled to take place in June next year. However, COVID-19 struck, forcing this year’s Tokyo Olympics Game to be moved to July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021. The PGC then requested the Commonwealth to push back the Mini Games, as majority of the PGC-member countries will also be competing in the Olympics.
Moving the Mini Games to 2022 would not only avoid clash with the Tokyo Olympics but would also give the CNMI more time to work on the improvement of its facilities. Grants have been made available to fix the sports facilities on island, particularly the Oleai Sports Complex, but COVID-19 came and halted the planned repair work.
Meanwhile, the proposed new dates have to be approved by the council and the participating nations when they hold a general assembly later this year. Sports to be contested will also have to be decided by the group. Currently, the CNMI is offering six sports—athletics, baseball, badminton, golf, triathlon, and beach volleyball. However, the host country is hoping to add tennis and weightlifting to the calendar of events for the 2022 Mini Games.
Incidentally, the 10th Micronesian Games will also take place 2022 and based on the initial proposal by hosts Marshall Islands, the competition will run from July 10 to Aug. 6.