Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) President, Dr Robin Mitchell, commended the Opening Ceremony of the Sol 2023 XVII Pacific Games at the National Stadium in Honiara, referring to it as a rich cultural showpiece.
“The people of the Solomon Islands must be proud of what was broadcast around the region and even on the Olympic Channel,” he added.
Dr Mitchell said that the athletes now have to focus on their competitions and also enjoy the world-class facilities the Games has to offer.
Dr Mitchell is on a brief stop in Honiara for the Pacific Games before heading to Lausanne, Switzerland for scheduled International Olympic Committee (IOC) meetings.
The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) Chairman, Martin Rara, emphasized the profound significance of this historical event for the Solomon Islands, describing the ceremony as a celebration of the spirit of unity that the Games embody.
“In a world where divisions often dominate headlines, the convergence of 24 nations for a common purpose sends a resounding message of solidarity and cooperation,” said Rara, who also serves as the President of the National Olympic Committee of the Solomon Islands (NOCSI).
He urged everyone in attendance, adding, “Let us all embrace the spirit of these games with open hearts and minds. Let us celebrate the prime of this game and unite as a global community.”
The Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare echoed a similar sentiment, underlining the essence of solidarity that permeates the event.
Reflecting on the journey leading up to the Games, he remarked, “Preparing for this Games has been an experience of a lifetime, leaping the theme for the Pacific Games. We faced multiple challenges, celebrated our resilience, and through the games, we united our country.”
As the Games unfold over the next two weeks, an air of anticipation surrounds the theme of the 17th Pacific Games: “Challenge, Celebrate, and Unite.”
Expectations soar as this year’s festivities promise to carve a distinct path, fostering unity, celebrating achievements, and embracing the challenges that lie ahead.
The Pacific Games Council (PGC) President, Vidhya Lakhan, acknowledged the dedication of everyone involved around the Games, stating, “It is your valued support and the will and determination of Prime Minister Sogavare, his government members, and indeed the people of the Solomon Islands that has culminated in providing world-class facilities, a competition venue for the benefit of the athletes in the Pacific.”
The official opening of the 17th Pacific Games serves as a remarkable milestone, coinciding with the 60th celebration of sports and unity in the Pacific Islands, since the inception of the inaugural Games in 1963.
This convergence of countries through sports represents not just a sporting event but a significant moment steeped in six decades of history, unity, and the enduring spirit of the Pacific Islands showcased through the platform of sports.
Established in 1981, the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) is one of five Continental Associations. It looks after the interests of 17 member nations in the Oceania Region, including Australia and New Zealand as well as seven associate members.
ONOC has an office in Guam where Secretary General Mr. Ricardo Blas is based and the Secretariat in Suva, Fiji, where the Office of the President Dr Robin Mitchell is located.
All services and-programmes are based on the ONOC Strategic Plan for 2018-2021, and its 4 Core Functions of (1) Building and Strengthening NOCs Capacity (2) Cultivating Strategic Partnerships (3) Contributing towards Sporting Excellence and (4) Leading by Example.
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