Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said on top of the incentives for winning gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022, all Team NMI athletes who medaled will get a $1,000 bonus.
“We want to make sure that everyone is given the right amount. Again, a gold medal is $5,000, a silver I believe is $2,500, and then $1,000 for bronze. So, all the medalist will also get a $1,000 bonus from me,” he said after last Saturday’s press conference announcing the return of United Airlines’ Narita-Saipan flights at the Aqua Resort Club.
Torres added that coaches of athletes who medal will also be taken cared of. “The coaches we do have incentive but we will announce that on July 7th and that will also be the time when we’ll be giving all the awards to all our athletes [who medaled],” he said.
Aside from confirming that all medalists will get the $1,000 bonus, Torres also took time to thank all athletes that represented the CNMI in the 11th staging of the quadrennial event.
“I want to personally congratulate the winners. All the medalist and all the other athletes that represented the CMMI—they are the best of who we have. They carry our flag and that itself is priceless because you do it from the bottom of your heart. The hard work that you put into competing. I was very happy to work with the [Northern Marianas Sports Association] and the organizing committee to give an incentive to all of our athletes to give them that extra push.”
Torres also extended his thanks to the hardworking Mini Games Organizing Committee, led by chair Marco Peter and CEO Vicente “Ben” Babauta, for the CNMI’s successful hosting of the Games that drew a lot of praises with no less than Pacific Games Council president Vidya Lakhan saying that the Commonwealth “raised the bar” in terms of hosting.
“…because together we are stronger. We all worked together and we put our athletes together, put our resources, put our hearts together. Imagine, this from a 40,000 population and we ranked third in most medals in the Games out of 19 island -nations,” he said.
Torres also thanked the Mini Games sponsors, volunteers, and the CNMI community (Saipan, Tinian, and Rota) who welcomed all the athletes from the 19 participating island-nations to the Games.
Saipan Tribune earlier broke down the 16 gold, 13 silver, and nine bronze medals won by the host team during the Game, which was held from June 16 to 25 on Saipan, Tinian (consolation matches for beach volleyball), and Rota (triathlon).
Weightlifting handed Team NMI 11 gold medals, with Ray Santos and David Barnhouse getting three apiece, Angel San Nicolas and Jason Limes gaining two each, and Joey Colisao adding one.
Tennis provided the home team three gold medals, with Colin Sinclair prevailing in the men’s singles and teaming up with Robbie Schorr in the men’s doubles finals win. Sinclair, Schorr, Bobby Cruz, and Colin Ramsey also topped the men’s team event.
Golf’s Zhimin Jin also made it to the gold medalists list for Team NMI with her victory in the women’s individual event, while the NMI National Baseball Team capped the hosts’ gold rush in the Mini Games with a 12-9 finals triumph over rival Guam last Friday.
Weightlifting also gave Team NMI the most silvers with 10 (three each from Leo Apelo and Antonette Labausa, two from Colisao, and one apiece from Leowel Cristobal and Angel San Nicolas). Athletics added two, thanks to Orrin Pharmin and Denise Myers, while beach volleyball’s Logan Mister and Andrew Johnson chipped in one.
For the bronze medal tally, athletics’ Dennis Borja and the women’s 4x100m relay team (Casey Cruz, Zarinae Sapong, Maria Quitugua, Kina Rangamar) contributed one each. Golf’s Franco Santos, JJ Atalig, Joshua Atalig, and Zhi Yun Li, triathlon’s Isaiah Aleksenko, Leo Wania, Kathy Ruszala, and Heather Brook, tennis’ Sinclair and Isabel Heras, and the va’a women’s V12 team (Danica Calvo, Elaine Sablan, Elizabeth Tenorio, Erryne Dasalla, Gerlyn Libunao, Heather Calderwood, Jenisha Dubrall, Kaya Rasa, Rica Concepcion, Teresa Sablan, Victoria Aldan, Vinalynn Oronigo), and weightlifting’s Riella Ann Ichiou and Jason Limes were the other bronze medalists.
Team NMI went on to win medals in all nine sports featured in the Mini Games, as badminton’s Janelle Pangilinan and Jenine Savellano prevailed in their bronze medal match in the women’s doubles against Tahiti’s Hortensia Manzanal and Waianuhea Teheura, 21-12, 21-9.