Pacific Games Pride

Souvenir Seller in Honiara.

Honiara is bursting with patriotic pride as the city swells to accommodate thousands of athletes, officials and visitors for the Pacific Games.

Jeremy Inifiri from the Games Organizing Committee (GOC) said more than 10,000 people from 24 participating countries and the Solomons’ nine provinces are travelling to the capital for the event.

“Things are looking good – we are going to have the best Pacific Games we can,” said Mr. Inifiri.

Vacancies are rare at the city’s hotels and apartment complexes.

“We are usually 75 per cent or 80 per cent – now we are 100 per cent full,” said Junior Tuito from Sanalae Apartments.

Local fans are buying up Solomon Islands souvenirs in blue, green and yellow to show their support for the home side.

“We are excited, we are proud of it,” said Randal Akoo, who is selling clothing emblazoned with the Solomon Islands flag.

“I’m really happy to have people come to the Solomon Islands – I’m proud to showcase our crafts,” said Edna Belo, a handicrafts seller from Malaita.

Vendors and customers at Honiara’s Central Market are looking forward to seeing the Pacific’s best sports stars in action.

“This is history for the Solomon Islands,” said one shopper.

“The only thing is that the tickets have run out so I can’t watch it in the stadium, but I can watch it on TV with my son,” she said.


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