It was a historic occasion for the Northern Mariana Islands to host the Pacific Mini Games 2022. Not only was it the first time for the CNMI to host the Games, but we held the Games despite years of setbacks from typhoons to a turbulent economy to a global pandemic. Indeed, “Rising up to the challenge” was a fitting theme for us as we welcomed thousands of athletes, officials, and dignitaries from 19 countries across the Pacific to our beautiful islands. It was humbling that the Pacific Games Council, Council president Vidya Lakhan, and council chief executive officer Andrew Minogue had enough faith in us to host the Games despite all the challenges and delays. Much credit and thanks go to the chairman for the Games Organizing Committee, Marco T Peter; the chief executive officer for the games, Vicente “Ben” Babauta; the president of the Northern Marianas Sports Association, Jerry Tan; Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, and everyone in the Commonwealth that contributed, in one way or another, to the Games. And, of course, congratulations to all the athletes from the Northern Marianas who played their hearts out and made us proud by bringing home the most medals in the Commonwealth’s history.
For our part, Northern Marianas College was privileged to be entrusted with broadcasting and video coverage of the Games, something that truly required a community effort. That is why we are very thankful for all the help provided by platinum sponsor IT&E; Inoke Bainimarama, Sitiveni Tawakevou, and the Oceania National Olympics Committees; TJ Manglona, Denton Pangelinan, and the Governor’s Office’s media team; Jesse Deleon Guerrero and the CNMI Office of Information Technology; Christopher Nelson and his team at KSPN2 News; Jojo Alepuyo and his crew at Marianas High School; Tom Leonard and Badminton Oceania; Keoni Hosono, Ramon “Ray” Tebuteb, Nishtah Sharma Thomas, and the PMG staff; and NMC vice president Frankie Eliptico and his PMG media crew. In particular, we owe much appreciation to the college’s core broadcasting team—Renedel Buno, Miguel Dandan, James “Bodig” Deleon Guerrero, Rita Duan, Casey Huliganga, and Dennis Marcelo—and a crew of over 50 volunteers. They all worked from the crack of dawn until late into the evening almost everyday of the Games to set up gear, stream the events, troubleshoot problems, and strike the gear afterwards, all the while battling extreme summer heat, strong winds, or flash storms.
Together, we pulled off nothing short of a miracle. We featured perhaps the most livestreams in Pacific Games history, reached an audience of half a million viewers, and helped family and friends of athletes watch and cheer from around the globe. And, despite an accelerated training schedule, technical glitches that kept propping up, and some missteps made along the way, our team members—many of whom had never even touched a video camera a week before the Games—responded to all the challenges with grace and grit. They were able to learn, adapt, and improve with each and every broadcast. For that, and for them, we should be grateful and proud.
Galvin DeLeon Guerrero (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Galvin Deleon Guerrero, EdD, is president of the Northern Marianas College and executive producer of the 2022 Pacific Mini Games Broadcasting.