8th Micro Games begin in Pohnpei

Written by Grant Wieman Pacific Daily News  Jul. 21, 2014 

The 8th Micronesian Games kicked off in Pohnpei yesterday.

Athletes from each of the delegations were introduced in a parade of nations and entertained with a traditional sakau ceremony, skydiver and lighting of the event torch.

Carrying the flag for Team Guam's parade was first-time Micro Games competitor Tamisha Fejeran, who will begin her softball tournament today against Pohnpei at 11 a.m. Pohnpei time. "It was a good feeling," Fejeran said of the opportunity.

imageLet the games begin: Team Guam watches a traditional war dance from one of the outer islands of Pohnpei during the opening ceremonies of the 8th Micronesian Games yesterday. Grant Wieman/Pacific Daily News/gwieman@guampdn.com">

The crowd of more than 1,000 surrounded the Pohnpei track as the athletes took their turns being introduced. The home team received the largest ovation.

The governor of Pohnpei and president of the Federated States of Micronesia were among the honored guests to speak during the ceremony, encouraging the athletes to perform their best.

Native girls deliver marmar to the honored guests at the opening ceremonies of the 8th Micronesian Games in Pohnpei yesterday.

The sakau ceremony came after the parade with natives dressed in traditional clothing pounding roots into a pulp, adding water and squeezing the liquid creation into hollowed coconut shells. The gray drink, similar to kava, was served to honored guests.

Natives of Pohnpei prepare sakau during the opening ceremonies of the 8th Micronesian Games in Pohnpei yesterday.

After Governor John Ehsa and President Emanuel Mori spoke, skydiver Tim Ohno parachuted from above bearing a large flag with the Micronesian Games logo.  Ohno's entrance was the highlight for many of the Guam athlete's, they said.
Skydiver Tim Ohno delivers the flag to the opening ceremonies of the 8th Micronesian Games in Pohnpei yesterday.


Following that, a traditional war dance from one of Pohnpei's outer islands was performed. The ceremony closed with the lighting of the event torch. The fire was built by hand, rubbing wood together, and carried by some of Pohnpei's most successful athletes.
Native Pohnpeians make fire to light the torch at the opening ceremonies for the 8th Micronesian Games in Pohnpei yesterday.
A former Pohnpei athletic champion lights the torch to officially begin the 8th Micronesian Games at the opening ceremony in Pohnpei yesterday.

The athletes were cleared from the field and heading back to their hotels before 7 p.m., early enough to prepare for the games this morning.

It was an experience none of them will ever forget.  "When we were introduced to the crowd and everyone was cheering us on," volleyball player Joneen Terlaje said. "We were all as one: Team Guam."

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