The Micronesian Games Council has yet to hold discussion about the potential conflict of schedule of the 2022 Micronesian Games with other major events in the region.
“As of now, there have been no discussions or plans on moving the dates of the Micronesian Games (2022),” MGC secretary general Joey Miranda III said.
The Marshall Islands will be hosting the Micro Games in 2022 and based on its winning bid announced in 2018 during the quadrennial event held in Yap, the proposed date (two-week period) is between July 10 and Aug. 6.
The suggested schedule may present challenges to the participating countries, which are also competing in the Pacific Mini Games. The CNMI-hosted Pacific Mini Games is originally set for next year, but the CNMI Pacific Mini Games Oversight Committee has proposed to move the event to Summer of 2022. The new date is in response to Pacific Games Council’s request to the Commonwealth to consider making changes with the dates for the 2021 Pacific Mini Games to avoid conflict with the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.
Revision in the schedule of all these major sporting events have to be made due to the COVID-19 pandemic that caught the world off guard late in 2019. The domino effect continues, as moving the 2022 Micro Games would also impact the next Pacific Games.
“Moving the Games (Micro) to 2023 will also possess a schedule conflict as the Pacific Games is slated for the same year,” Miranda said.
The 2023 Pacific Games will take place in Honiara, Solomon Islands and because of the coronavirus pandemic delays in the construction of the facilities for the event are expected.
As for the Pacific Mini Games on Saipan, the Oleai Sports Complex has yet to undergo its scheduled major improvement due to the crisis. The facility sustained significant damage from two super typhoons and early this year, some improvement project was set to start, but COVID-19 came and the sports complex had to be closed.
Moving the Mini Games to 2022 will give organizers and the government more time to prepare for the event while focusing their resources now to battling the spread of COVID-19.
Athletics, baseball, badminton, golf, triathlon, and beach volleyball are on the initial list of sports proposed for the Mini Games. There is also a suggestion to add tennis and weightlifting, while the Northern Marianas National Paddling Sports Federation also wishes to have canoe in the quadrennial event that the CNMI will be hosting for the first time.