Congratulations to FSM Olympic Team
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSMNOC): July 12, 2012 - The Federated
States of Micronesia will be sending six athletes to this year's Olympic
Games competing in Weightlifting, Swimming, Athletics (track and field)
and, just announced, in Wrestling. The 2012 Olympic Games are from July
27 to August 12, 2012 in London, England. The FSM National Olympic
Committee and FSM Wrestling Association were notified by the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Wrestling
Association (FILA) that Keitani Graham, FSM male Greco-Roman Wrestler
from Chuuk State received a late Tripartite Commission invitation to
compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games. This is outstanding news for
the development of Wrestling in the FSM and is a great honor for Graham.
He has now returned to Hawaii to train and will arrive to London on
July 24. His coach is Larry Uwelar from Yap State.
Over 10,000 athletes from 205 countries will participate in 28 sports
in the London 2012 Olympic Games. The FSM sports delegation will
include 6 athletes (Manuel Minginfel, Debra Daniel, Kerson Hadley, John
Howard, Mihter Wendolin and Keitani Graham), 6 coaches (Ron Etshceit,
Sweeter Daniel, Rendy Germinaro, George Steven, Lestly Ashby and Larry
Uwelar), 1 Chef de Mission (Ted Rutun), 1 doctor (Dr. Felix Yomai), 1
Press Attaché (Marcellus Akapito), and FSM National Olympic Committee
(FSMNOC) President and Secretary General (Berney Martin and Jim Tobin).
The FSM athletes will be competing on the following dates and times (London time):
Manuel MINGINFEL - male - Weightlifting - 62kg men's - 2.30pm 30 July;
Kerson HADLEY - male - Swimming - 50m free style prelim - 10.00am 02 August;
Debra DANIEL - female - Swimming - 50m free style preliminary - 10.00am 03 August;
Mihter WENDOLIN - female - Athletics - 100m women's preliminary - 10.45am 03 Aug;
John HOWARD - male - Athletics - 100m men's preliminary - 10.00am 04 August; and
Keitani GRAHAM - male - Greco-Roman Wrestling - 84kg division qualifications - 1.00pm 06 August.
For the first time ever, the FSM National Olympic Committee has sent
the 2 FSM swimmers (Daniel and Hadley) and 2 FSM runners (Wendolin and
Howard) and one coach (Germinaro) to a pre-Olympic Games training camp.
The FSM group arrived to Liverpool, England on June 11 and will remain
at the camp for 6 weeks prior to moving into the Olympic Games Village
in London on July 23. The FSM swimmers and runners will be trained by
world-class English coaches from the NW England region. This should
greatly improve their results in the 50-meter free style and 100-meter
dash at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The FSM National Olympic
Committee applied and received a 25,000 pound pre-games training camp
grant from the London Olympic Games Organizing Committee (LOCOG) to fund
the majority of the costs of the FSM training camp. The International
Olympic Committee (IOC) funded the airfare costs.
Minginfel has been training full-time since February at the Oceania
Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia. In June, he qualified on his
own merit for the London 2012 Olympic Games by winning the men's 62kg
category at the 2012 Oceania Weightlifting Championships in Samoa. He
was the only lifter at the Championships who qualified on his own merit
and was awarded the Best Overall Lifter trophy. Minginfel will be
traveling with Paul Coffa, his institute coach and mentor, along with
other Pacific island lifters from New Caledonia to London on July 24.
The FSMNOC also supported Keitani Graham, FSM male wrestler from
Chuuk State, in his bid to qualify for the Olympic Games in Wrestling.
For over one year, Graham trained full time in Honolulu with some of the
best USA wrestlers. He competed in numerous continental and world
Olympic wrestling qualifiers in Australia, Morocco, China and Finland.
On June 23, Graham received a last minute Tripartite Commission
invitation to compete in the Olympic Games. For the past three Olympic
Games (Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Athens 2004 Olympic Games and Beijing
2008 Olympic Games) the FSM had sent only 5 athletes to compete in
Weightlifting, Swimming and Athletics. The London 2012 Olympic Games
will be the first time the FSM has sent 6 athletes, and the first
Olympic Games the FSM has competed in Wrestling. Daniel and Minginfel
all received 2-year $28,000 London Olympic Games Athlete scholarships,
more than another National Olympic Committee received in the region.
The FSMNOC, with funding support from the IOC, is working with FSM
Telecommunications Corporation to live television broadcast the London
Olympic Games on Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, from a feed from SkyTV
of New Zealand.
Congratulations to all participants!