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UPDATE: 2012 Summer Olympic Games — Team AS

jeff@samoanews.com

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are set to begin with the Opening Ceremony on July 27, in London, England. As reported by Samoa News in Tuesday’s paper, four of the five Team American Samoa athletes are in England at this time, according to president of the American Samoa National Olympic Committee Ken Tupua. The rest of the contingent departed the territory yesterday, July 19 to join them.

In the spirit of Tupua’s remarks as reported by Samoa News in Tuesday’s issue where he said, “Come and talk to us, we have nothing to hide,” we asked the ASNOC president about the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic games, specifically concerning the procession called the Parade of Athletes — it is one of its highlights.

It’s when the participating teams enter the stadium, nation by nation, in alphabetical order, according to the language of the Host Country, apart from the Greek team, which always enters first for the Olympics, and the team of the Host Nation (in this case Team Great Britain), who march in last, according to the International Olympic Committee website.

Samoa News asked Tupua the following questions:

Names of participants from American Samoa marching in the opening parade at London Olympics? Reply: Only the five athletes.

Who will be carrying the AS Samoa Flag? Reply: No decision has been made yet.

Who will be carrying the USA FLAG? Reply: No decision has been made yet.

Are all AS contingent staying in in the Olympic Village? Reply: “The athletes are staying in the Olympic Village, while everyone else is staying in hotels.”

Is ASNOC paying for those staying outside of the village? Reply: At this point Tupua asked the Samoa News reporter —who was asking these questions, him or Jim McGuire?

McGuire is a former member of ASNOC, who also served as Chef de Mission at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece and has since fallen out with the organization. Samoa News responded that they were ‘our’ questions, however, Tupua angrily hung up the phone.

Samoa News compiled its questions from a range of questions coming from the public via email and our website. And yes, questions were also submitted by McGuire.

(Robin Annesley Dalton, who was part of the official local Media that went to the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, and is general manager of Samoa News, said for the Greece games, accommodations for the ASNOC president and general secretary and guests [their wives] were paid for by the International Olympic Committee, and they stay at a hotel specifically booked by IOC for its member-officials. Where the coaches and other officials stay and who is paying for their accommodations is unknown. It should be noted that Media is told to book and pay for their own travel and room & board, including all other expenses. Media certification is also primarily arranged by the person or persons going, with final approval from ASNOC and the IOC.)

After this latest ASNOC kerfuffle, Samoa News was not able to ask one other question concerning the Opening Ceremony:

Who designed the uniforms for the Parade; and did ASNOC pay for them or were they donated through a sponsor?

The Opening Ceremony, according to the Olympic website “is a celebration showcasing the best of the Host Nation. It also features a parade of all competing nations and the highly anticipated entrance of the Olympic Flame, which ignites the Cauldron and signals the start of the Games.

“There are certain elements that must feature in every Ceremony, as outlined in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) charter. The artistic performance of the Ceremony then gets underway and welcomes the world to the London 2012 Games.

The name of the Olympic Opening Ceremony show will be ‘Isles of Wonder’ and the worldwide broadcast will commence at 9 p.m. local time.

Samoa News was unable to confirm at this time if there will be a specific channel to watch the Opening Ceremony and games. NBC currently holds the broadcasting rights of the Summer Olympic games — of which there is no ‘live’ channel on Moana Cable TV, nor does KVZK carry the NBC network. However, Samoa News understands arrangements are being made for broadcast to the territory, but no details are yet available.

BACKGROUND

ELEMENTS FEATURED IN EVERY OPENING CEREMONY

According to the Olympic Games website the following are the elements that must be featured in every opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, before the artistic element of the host country is performed.

* Receiving the Head of State

The Head of State of the Host Country is received at the entrance of the Olympic Stadium by the President of the IOC. For the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen will be greeted by Jacques Rogge.

* Parade of Athletes

A procession of the participating teams in the Stadium, nation by nation.

* Speeches

Once all the nations have arrived into the Stadium, LOCOG Chair Seb Coe will give a speech, followed by Jacques Rogge. They will end their speeches by inviting the Head of State to officially declare the Games open.

* Olympic Anthem and Flag

Once the Games have been declared open, the Olympic Flag is then carried into the Stadium and hoisted into the air as the respective Anthem is played. The Olympic Charter states that each flag must fly for the entire duration of the Games – placed in a prominent position in the main Stadium.

* Oaths

A participating athlete, judge and coach from the Host Nation stands on the rostrum and, holding a corner of the IOC flag in their left hand and raising their right, takes the Oath, vowing to compete and judge according to the rules of their respective sport,.

* The Torch and Cauldron

The big finale is the entrance of the Olympic Flame into the Stadium. It is passed through the athletes to the final Torchbearer, who will ceremoniously light the Cauldron, indicating the beginning of the Games. The Flame will continue to burn for the whole of the Games.

* Creative team

A host of world-class British directors and producers are leading the artistic team to stage the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

* Performers

A total cast of 15,000 will take part in the London 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, which will be watched by an estimated audience of four billion.

This is the Official American Samoa National Olympic Committee 2012 London Delegates List, provided by ASNOC on Monday, July 16, during the ASNOC president’s interview with Samoa News:

1            Kenneth Tupua-ASNOC President

2            Ed Imo-ASNOC General Secretary

3            Megan Fonteno-Female Swimming Athlete

4            Ching Maou Wei-Male Swimming Athlete

5            Nathaniel Tuamoheloa-Male Wrestling Athlete

6            Anthony Liu-Male Judo Athlete

7            Elama Soli Faatonu- Male Athletics Athlete

8            Robert Scanlan Jr- Swimming Coach

9            Erika Radewagen- Swimming President

10            Ethan Lake-Wrestling President

11            Valusia Talataina- Athletics Coach

12            Michaelle Vargas- Judo Coach

13            Sina Tupua- President’s Guest

14            Simeafou Imo- General Secretary’s Guest

15            Kent Yamada- Chef de Mission

16            Irene Kane- Wrestling Coach

 

Rhonda Annesley, editor, contributed to this report



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