Sunday, October 25
I'm still on the road – in London at the moment – but managed to finish another video from the games.
The Cook Islands had a wonderful golf tournament. We scooped all four gold medals, the men's and women's team events and the men's and women's individual titles. The two youngest team members won the individual golds, Elmay Viking the women's and Kirk Tuaiti the men's.
The golf course is just over the road from Nikao beach and has an impressive mountain background. It's also got some unusual hazards - a number of radio masts with wire stays and concrete bases.
Business house golf and fund-raising golf competitions are popular on Rarotonga and we often find stray golf balls among the trees lining the beach.
Not everyone is up to the golf team's standards!
Saturday, October 17
I'm on the road at the moment, in Singapore as a matter of fact. It's great, food's fantastic and there's plenty to do but it doesn't leave a lot of time for editing video. Not to worry. At the mini games we had a group of youngsters from Manchester (England) who were filming Pacific athletes, particularly those who might make it to the London Olympics in 2012.The kids - eight of them aged 15 or 16 - are all part of a programme called Supporter to Reporter, S2R for short, which encourages young sports fans to become reporters and put their stories, videos and radio interviews on the web.This group really impressed everyone with their enthusiasm and the amount of work they did.I'm embedding a video they took about various spots on Rarotonga but most of their videos are sports related.You can check out more of them on the mini games website (http://www.2009pacificgames.co.ck/) or at the S2R website (http://www.radiowaves.co.uk/n/s2r/c/Pacific+Games)
Sunday, October 11
Here is another short video of action from the mini games.This one is from the boxing tournament.
I’m not sure that boxing should qualify as a sport, particularly professional boxing; it’s more like legalised thuggery. But it’s popular as you can hear from the yells of the spectators, many of them women.
Anyway, regardless of my opinions, the young boxers themselves were very proud and patriotic and they certainly deserve congratulations for doing their best.
I suppose boxing is at the opposite end of the sporting spectacular scale to synchronised swimming but at least nobody gets injured in the pool. Jaws! Where are you when you’re needed?
Plenty more videos to come – time is the problem. I’ll be off the island for a few weeks but I’m taking a computer and a hard drive chock full of video footage so I can get editing if I get restless or bored (in Singapore? England? No chance!)
Sunday, October 4
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.