YC lauds NMPMG organizing committee, officials, athletes


In this file photo taken during the inauguration of the 18th CNMI Youth Congress in the Senate chamber on May 15, 2021, Youth Sen. Easton Joel Cabrera Dela Cruz poses in a group photo with the other members of the Youth Congress, from left, YuriHana Deleon Guerrero Sasamoto, Abriette Patience Taimanao Manglona, Cielo Citlalli Gutierrez Long, and Liekeila’akata Tapua’ialupe Iakopo. (FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

The CNMI Youth Congress adopted Friday a commemorative resolution commending the organizing committee, officials, and CNMI athletes for their outstanding effort in organizing, facilitating, and competing in the 2022 Pacific Mini Games last June 17 to 25.

During the Youth Congress’ special session in the House of Representatives chamber, Youth Sen. Easton Joel C. Dela Cruz introduced Y.C. Resolution No.18-09. Three other Youth Congress senators—Cielo Citalli Gutierrez Long, YuriHana Deleon Guerrero Sasamoto, and Abriette Patience Taimanao Manglona—agreed to place the resolution on calendar for adoption as a whole. All four senators voted for its adoption.

Dela Cruz stated in the resolution that from the moment when the CNMI was awarded in July 2014 the right to host the 2022 Pacific Mini Games, the CNMI’s civic leaders and sports officials worked in preparing the Commonwealth to welcome the athletes and officials of the participating nations to the Marianas shores. The CNMI was awarded the hosting duties at the annual Pacific Games Council General Assembly in Papua New Guinea last 2014.

Suring the entire planning stages, the CNMI was faced with many challenges that jeopardized the hosting of the Games such as the destruction of the islands’ sporting facilities by Super Typhoon Soudelor in 2015 and Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018, and a massive health scare from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite these great adversities, Dela Cruz said that CNMI leaders and the Pacific Games Council maintained their commitment to proceed with the Games, with its date moved from June 2021 to June 2022.

On June 17, 2021, the launch of the countdown to the 2022 Pacific Mini Games began, with the event adopting the tagline: “Rising Up to the Challenge” as its official theme.

Last June 17, the 2022 11th Pacific Games, the 11th version of the Games, opened on Saipan with over 1,000 delegates, both athletes and officials, parading the cheers of local and visiting spectators. Through the nine-day event, athletes competed in athletics, badminton, baseball, beach volleyball, golf, tennis, triathlon, xa’a (outrigger canoe racing), and weightlifting. Each sport’s venues were spread across Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

Dela Cruz said that over 400 individual and team medals were awarded, with the CNMI placing third in the overall medal tally with a final count of 38 (gold-16, silver-13, bronze-9) medals.

Dela Cruz said it was the Commonwealth’s best showing at the Games since 1981.
Last June 25, the 11th Pacific Mini Games concluded with the extinguishing of the Games’ cauldron and the presentation of the Pacific Mini Games flag to the Republic of Palau, which will host the 12th Pacific Mini Games.

The leadership of the Pacific Games Council commended the Northern Marianas’ Pacific Games Organizing Committee, their staff, and volunteers for a spectacular job of hosting the event despite tremendous adversity in front of them.

Dela Cruz said the Youth Congress shall present a certified copy of the resolution to Marco Taisakan Peter and Vicente Manglona Babauta Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, respectively, of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games Organizing Committee.

The Pacific Mini Games, a scaled-down version of the larger Pacific Games, have been a quadrennial sporting event for over 40 years and is attended by many of the countries of Oceania.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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