What happens when you take the venerable Olympics and make it happen in a sunny, tropical paradise? The Pacific Games!
Known earlier as the South Pacific Games, the idea came into being during a commission hearing in Papua New Guinea back in 1959. In less than two years, the Games went from a bright idea into reality when Fiji hosted the first edition in 1961! Since then, the quadrennial Pacific Games have brought sports and camaraderie over 14 times.
Samoa – Thrice lucky!
And this time, it’s happened in Samoa. The 16thedition of the Pacific Games was held in Apia, the capital of Samoa from July 7 – 20, 2019. For two weeks, the city saw over 5,000 athletes and many, many more fans thronging Apia’s pretty streets. Did you know that its Samoa’s third time hosting the Games? It had previously hosted in 2007 and before that in 1983 (at that time, it was known as Western Samoa!).
Athletes from 22 Pacific Games association member-countries represented the best of their sports. Athletes from Australia and New Zealand were also invited, because of Oceania (duh!) and long-standing friendship between the nations. And also because so many Aussies and Kiwis visit South Pacific countries every year, it’s like we’re one big, boisterous family anyway!
The sports themselves are a distinct representation of the Pacific way of life. From warrior disciplines like archery, judo, shooting and taekwondo to paying homage to the ocean-faring ancestors with sailing, outrigger canoeing and swimming – it all came together.
As the largest sporting event of the region, Samoa pulled out all stops to make the two weeks one uninterrupted extravaganza of sporting fun, liveliness and great memories. But the purity and the spirit of the Games pure have been summarised pithily in the very first objective of the Games.
‘To create bonds of kindred friendship and brotherhood amongst people of the countries of the Pacific region through sporting exchange without any distinctions as to race, religion or politics.’
And the Pacific Games have been doing exactly that for the last 40 plus years. Bringing together the best of sportsmanship and a warm audience to showcase the best of Pacific spirit.
Want to get the best holiday deals and packages for experiencing the Pacific Games 2023 first-hand? Watch this space and subscribe to our newsletter! in the meanwhile, check out our partner hotels in Apia and Samoa – we’ve got great holiday deals, too. Our signature packages bundle in stays, transfers, return airfare and even bonuses like meals and tours – talk to us today!