Sunday, October 4

Mini games closing ceremony

Whew! The mini games are over and now all the volunteers (there were more than a thousand, maybe even two thousand) can get a bit of sleep and in my case clean up the houes and garden. Not much has been touched over the past few weeks.
The weather was mainly fine. We had one day of thunder and lightning which meant sports like bowls and golf had to do a bit of rescheduling but it didn't really have much of an effect (apart from filling my water tank which is always a good thing).
We (in the Cook Islands) missed the effects of the tsunami that hit American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga. It was a horrible shock for the athletes from those countries. Many of them had friends or relatives who were affected, maybe even killed, by the disaster.
Flags here flew at half mast and it cast a sombre shadow over the rest of the athletes.
The games have now come to an end and we can all take a deep breath. The head of the Pacific Games Council was in Rarotonga for part of the event and he made no friends when he criticised the organising committee and praised CISNOC (Cook Islands Sports and National Olympics Committee) and their president (who managed to hijack a medal ceremony and annoyed a major sponsor so much that he has threatened topull out of sports sponsorship totally in future). CISNOC were the group charged with running the games but honestly, the only thing they can organise is free trips overseas for themselves.
They spent thousands on poncy uniforms for themselves but couldn't find any spare cash to buy superb photographs - permanent records - from photojournalists who were attending the games.
So the politics of the games were as pathetic as such things always are but the athletes were wonderful. We've been really lucky to be able to see these people in action and some of our own people have risen to the occasion.
We won gold medals in golf, sailing, tennis, touch rugby. Fifteen golds altogether as well as many silver and bronze medals.
It was a great two weeks. Here's a short video of some of the closing highlights.
I've got more footage of the sports so I hope I'll have time to get that up online soon.