Guam Youth Sports Festival celebrating Olympic Day and Return to Sport

Guam PDC Article

By Jojo Santo Tomas Pacific Daily News

The Guam National Olympic Committee is celebrating two events this weekend with a three-day, six-sport festival starting Friday afternoon.

The upcoming Olympic Day – observed worldwide on June 23 – combined with the public’s return to Guam sports, was more than enough reason to hold multiple events, said Joey Miranda III of the GNOC.

Miranda was the chef de mission for the Rio Olympics in 2016 and will again lead Team Guam next month to the Tokyo Olympics.

“This is our way of trying to get people back into sports,” he said. “We are still following guidelines, still following restrictions for indoor events and gatherings and of course, hand sanitizing and mask-wearing throughout.”

Miranda said Guam has generally anticipated a return to competitive and leisure sports, and the GNOC has organized an event that is free for youths to join.

Those interested in wrestling can visit the Fudoshin Training Center in Tamuning, across from United Tire Center, from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday and 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Participants will get an introduction to Olympic styles of wrestling, fundamental wrestling skills, strength and conditioning and a discussion with Guam National wrestlers. Rckaela Aquino, a longtime wrestler, became Guam’s first female to qualify for the Olympics on merit, according to GNOC president Ricardo Blas Sr.

On Saturday, athletes have the option of learning about rugby at the Wettengel Rugby Field, track at the Okkodo High School track, or they can check out some of the island’s best young fastpitch softball players. A four-team single-elimination tournament starts 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Piti Softball field.

Athletes can watch Guam’s junior national baseball team, which will play at least one game at the Paseo Stadium starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. If an indoor event is preferred, interested players can go bowling from 2 to 4 p.m. at Central Lanes in Tamuning. The event is free to the first 50 bowlers who are 21 years old and below.

No admission or participation fees will be charged at any event, said Miranda.

“We want to thank our participating federations and our sponsors: Pacific Daily News, AK Toyota, Docomo and Matson,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for families, especially our youth athletes, to learn about a new sport, or get in a workout to celebrate Guam’s overall return to sports. But remember to always protect yourself.”

Team Guam begin preparation for upcoming Games via virtual OSEP Team Manager Course

Monday, May 3, 2021 – Maite, Guam

With Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games right around the corner, GNOC officially conducted its first virtual team manager course under the Oceania Sport Education Program.  Formalities for the preparation of its Team officials 2022 events which include the Pacific Mini Games, Micronesian Games, Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Asian Beach Games and the Asian Games got under way with the first of five-day course being conducted by its Master Educators.

The course participants were welcomed and provided an overview by OSEP RME Joey Miranda III who discussed the framework’s four phases.  Each facilitator and participant introduced themselves to the group of which Miranda later emphasized the importance of their role and the establishment of the working criteria to ensure harmony and continuity in the relationship between each official involved in the structure of each Games.

Module one was hosted by ME Melanie Torre who took the group through the fundaments of a team manager as several topics were deliberated upon through breakout rooms, using whiteboards, and the chat box as the group became heavily engaged in the proceedings.  They identified the characteristics, roles and importance of a team manager and the specific requirements of what the position entails.

ME Tara Tydingco provided the summation of the two-hour course and provided the overview for day two’s activities.  Assignments were provided for each team official as well as the course requirements and a group photo was taken.

Miranda closed the meeting highlighting several past events and thanked all participants for attending the course.

Guam Athletes in the Kitchen premieres videos

Saturday, April 10, 2021 – Maite, Guam

Guam National Athletes Commission and the GNOC Medical and Anti-Doping Commission present a nutritional program for Guam’s athletes. Nutritionist and Dietician Lenora Makela along with Guam Swimming Federation’s Mark Imazu and Guam Basketball Confederation’s Blaise Ada put together a healthy and delicious smoothie for the on-the-go athlete.

The video will premiere on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. (ChST).

Nutritionist and Dietician Rosae Calvo along with Guam Weightlifting Federation’s Jacinta Sumagaysay and Guam Track and Field Association’s Jenina Criss deliver a healthy and nutrition-filled breakfast with tofu, eggs, and veggies.

This video was made possible through a grant from the IOC Olympic Solidarity. Special thank you to Payless Supermarket’s EduKitchen for the use of their facility. Videography by Clutch Guam.

In Memoriam: GNOC Founding father Michael Reidy

HAGATNA, 06 APRIL 2021 – Former Senator Michael Reidy, the founding father of the Guam National Olympic Committee (GNOC), passed away in Frederick, Maryland.

Guam National Olympic Committee founding father Michael Reidy.
Photo credits to guampdn.com

GNOC President Ricardo Blas paid tribute to Reidy: “Mike is the founding father of Guam’s Olympic Movement and was the key person working towards affiliating Guam as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Mike was a true sportsman and he believed in the athletes of Guam.”

Blas vividly recalls the Closing Ceremony of the 1987 South Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia, when Reidy met with him to tell him that Guam had officially been recognized by the IOC. From that point, Guam used its own flag at sporting events.

Reidy was the President of the Guam Amateur Sports Federation, which also went by the GNOC name ahead of Olympic membership.

Reidy was at the helm when Guam hosted then-President of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, in 1987. Samaranch returned three times and was the only IOC President to visit the island until current President Thomas Bach visited in May 2019.

The Guam National Olympic Committee extends our sincere appreciation to our founding father and condolences to his family.

Aquino qualifies for Tokyo 2020 after silver finish at UWW Africa-Oceania qualifier

Sunday, April 3, 2021 – Tunisia

Rckaela Aquino punched her ticket to the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games after finishing with a silver medal at the UWW Africa-Oceania qualifier held in Tunisia. Aquino became the first-ever Guam female wrestler to qualify for an Olympic Games based on merit.

Rckaela took home the silver medal during the 2021 African & Oceania Wrestling Olympic Qualification Tournament today in Tunisia, competing at 53 kilograms. Her top-two finish in the division automatically qualified her for Tokyo.

Aquino, an IOC scholarship recipient, defeated Elisa Rasoanantenaina from Madagascar in the first round to advance to the semifinals. In the semi-final round, she won by superior decision over Siwar Louati of Tunisia (10-0) which guaranteed her a silver medal and a spot on Team Guam for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. In the championship match, Rckaela lost by super decision to eventual champion Joseph Essombe of Cameroon.