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The ‘Olympic Games’ for Micronesia

Guam to dominate track and field events

Majuro — Twenty years ago, the only way to get a report on a Micronesian Games competition—or even just a baseball or basketball score—was to have someone ring you after a game, at a cost of $4 a minute. Suffice it to say, getting results was a challenge and sometimes it could be months before a full set of results wended its way through the mail to Majuro or Koror or Saipan. This month’s Micronesian Games in Pohnpei is expected to bring together nearly 1,700 athletes, coaches, officials and media representatives for 10 days of competition.

With Pohnpei linked to the outside world by a submarine fiber optic cable, this year’s games, the 8th since the first in 1969, may have the most options to broadcast results to the world. The thousands of people throughout the Micronesian area wanting news about the performance of their relatives and friends will be able to tune in through live Internet broadcasts of competitions on V6AH Radio, Pohnpei’s government AM station (http://www.fm/pohnpei/radio.htm).

“Video broadcast will also be available on our website 8th Micro Games, our Facebook page 8th Micro Games 2014, and our YouTube channel Pohnpei island network,” says Jun Salomon who is working with the Media and Broadcast Committee for the Games. Salomon says they are working with sponsor FSM Telecommunications Corporation to provide sufficient bandwidth to the venues for livestream video broadcasting from the Spanish Wall Softball Field, the Daini Baseball Field, and the College of Micronesia National Campus Gymnasium, where basketball competition will be held. The fallback is delayed broadcasts through social media of events that will run from July 20 to 30.

In addition to sports delegations from all the United States-affiliated islands in the north Pacific, Kiribati and Nauru are expected to send sizeable groups to Pohnpei, giving this Micro Games the full panorama of “Micronesia” sports prowess. Known as the “Olympics” of Micronesia, these Games were first launched in 1969 during the U.S. Trust Territory administration and hosted by Saipan, the capital of the Trust Territory. But the idea of an every-four-year event didn’t catch on immediately. The second Games didn’t happen until 1990, but since then it’s been a muchanticipated quadrennial competition.

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