The 17th Pacific Games unveiled as Honiara’s National Stadium erupt in dazzling colours
The 17th Pacific Games commenced in a stunning display of cultural heritage, unity, and sporting excellence during its official opening ceremony held at the National Stadium in Honiara< last night. The event marked the beginning of an unforgettable fortnight of friendship, sportsmanship, and cultural exchange among the diverse nations of the Pacific.
A vibrant celebration unfolded as over 3000 athletes from 24 Pacific nations marched proudly into the stadium, accompanied by an array of captivating performances by young people led by the Dreamcast Theatre and other well-known artists in the Solomon Islands.
The opening ceremony captured the essence of the Pacific’s cultural tapestry, showcasing the region’s rich diversity through a display of colourful traditional attire, spirited dances, and melodious tunes.
Attended by a jubilant crowd of approximately 10,000 spectators, the ceremony featured a breathtaking combination of ceremonial rituals, traditional music, and symbolic displays that honoured the heritage and unity in Solomon Islands as well as the participating nations.
Dignitaries, high-ranking officials, and esteemed guests graced the occasion, emphasizing the significance of the Pacific Games as a platform for fostering camaraderie, sportsmanship, and cultural exchange among the diverse nations of the Pacific.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare in his keynote address welcomed the people of the Pacific and partner countries to Solomon Islands, for the two weeks event. “Good evening, people of the Pacific and our partner countries gathered here. On behalf of the people of Solomon Islands, welcome to the 2023 Pacific Games and to our home.”
“Tonight, we take a first step in telling our Games story to the world,” he added, as he welcomes special guests and delegates from organisations and countries that have made the hosting of the event successful.
Prime Minister went on to express that the Pacific Games represents true spirit of the Pacific.
Before the keynote address, the ceremony was also fortunate to listen to speeches from Martin Rara, President of the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI) and the President of the Pacific Games Council (PGC), Mr Vidhya Lakhan.
The highlights of the evening were the performances by youths and traditional groups around Honiara and Solomon Islands, two hours of parade by the participating countries, and of course the display of fireworks, which lasted for about 10-minutes.
Before the Prime Minister’s keynote address, an athletes parade from each of the 24 participating country made their way into the arena, showcasing their national pride and determination. Wearing their traditional attire and waving their flags with pride, the athletes displayed a sense of pride that could be felt throughout the stadium.
The ceremony also saw the blessing of the athletes and oath taking and the final Baton Relay as the Prime Minister officially opens the two-weeks event. Following the declaration, the athletes and spectators were then treated with an enormous firework display, as the ceremony ended with a colorful Honiara atmosphere.
The Pacific Games 2023 is promised to be an event to remember, not only for the thrilling sporting competitions but also for the unforgettable experiences and friendships that will be forged along the way. As the Pacific region unites under the banner of sport, the spirit of the Pacific Games will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on all who have the privilege of being part of this momentous occasion. —ENDS//