SIX athletes have left our shores for Nanjing, China for the second Summer Youth Olympics. PNG has qualified in athletics, swimming, weightlifting, soccer, and sailing.
The small team will meet up with the Under 15 soccer girls who have been in training in China. Looking forward to the games Chef De Missions Alex Davani says that the team is young but is looking forward to the games.
The youth ambassador for the team is Hannah Ilave who will represent the country in Nanjing. The flag bearer is young swimmer Barbara Vali-Skelton who will be competing in the 50m and 100m breaststroke event.
In a farewell reception on Saturday, Steven Kari handed the flag to Ilave who stepped in for Vali-Skelton. Kari said that being a flag bearer for him meant proudly hoisting the flag for all to see and to be proud of where you are from.
"It doesn’t mean you are holding the flag and leading the team out for the whole world to see, hopefully you understand that carrying that flag should be important as it will be a moment you remember and I hope you can understand what it means to represent your country."
Davani also reminded all that the Youth Olympics are for the new future of sports in the country.
"The Youth Olympics highlight the future in sports for each participating country, so while the Commonwealth Games are an indication of where we are in sports.
The Youth Olympics are a little insight into the future of sports in Papua New Guinea."
Igo Lohia will be the mascot carrier, meaning he will carry the mascot of Nanjing Lele around with him, while with the team in China.
The team left Papua New Guinea at 2pm yesterday and travelled to Singapore where they will continue on to China.
The games will commence with the opening ceremony on August 14h, with soccer being the first sport, Papua New Guinea will participate in on the same day.
ONE PNG/ Post Courier