Talofa from the London 2012 Olympics
Well it has been a while since my last Postcard to Home. You may recall my last Postcards were from Australia during the Oceania Championships in January. Well a lot has happened since then.
In preparation for the Olympic Games, all of our athletes were given different opportunities to train abroad several months before the games. In particular Nathaniel Tuamoheloa, our 96kg wrestler, was invited to train under an Olympic training program in Manchester, England back in June. His training included high level technical training along with strength and conditioning.
Several weeks ago just prior to the Olympics, Nathaniel was entered into an International Wrestling tournament in Belgium at 96kg to test his skills. Nathaniel surprised many who had never heard of American Samoa by performing extremely well. Nathaniel’s best match of the day was against a British wrestler whom he ended up beating in the 3rd round and advancing. Nathaniel ended up placing 2nd and winning Silver after narrowly losing to a very experienced Russian wrestler by just 2 points.
Nathanial will formally compete in the Olympics August 12th, the last day of the Games.
As you may already know, the Olympics officially opened last Wed, July 27th with the Opening ceremony and the traditional parade of athletes. This is my first Olympics, as it is also the first for all the athletes. The experience of marching in front of a crowd of thousand, representing your country is like nothing else. In that hour of marching and standing in the presence of the world, we became American Samoa’s top ambassadors; representing our tiny island nation of 55K in front of live crowd that was larger than our own population and a TV crowd of millions if not billions. The pride of being Samoan has never been stronger.
It is this same pride that has been the driving force in our athletes to give their very best. Thus far, in the last two days, we have had three of our athletes compete, all succeeding in outdoing their own personal bests.
All three athletes performed at their best and represented our country well as top athletes and proud ambassadors. American Samoa’s next athlete to compete is Elama Fa'atonu in track and field, running the 100m. He will compete this Saturday August 4.
A big thank you goes out to all the families, friends and supporters, for all their help and prayers. Special thanks also goes out to the ASNOC, and all the American Samoa Olympic delegation members that have worked hard to give these athletes the opportunity to represent their country.
Stay tuned for more about Team American Samoa.
by Jeff Hayner
Team Samoa is down to five competitors after Toafitu Perive (weightlifting), Aleni Smith (Judo) and Maureen Tuimalealiifano (archery) were all knocked out of competition this week, leaving five athletes.
Emanuele Fuamatu will be competing today in the Men’s Athletics/Track and Field Shot Put event. Fuamatu’s personal best in the shot put is 19.46 meters.
Rudolph Berking-Williams (canoe sprint) will be competing on Monday August 6 in the 1000 meters and on Friday, August 10 in the 200 meters.
In Tae Kwon Do, 20-year old Talitiga Crawley will be competing in the Women’s 67kg class on Saturday August 11, while in the Men’s Division Kaino Thomsen will be competing in the 80kg class also on Saturday August 11.
Samoa’s world class weightlifter Ele Opeloge, who lifts in the Women’s 75kg class will be lifting this coming Sunday August 5.
The United States overtook China in the medal count as these two powerhouse countries continue with dominant performances, with Japan trailing far behind in 3rd for the most medals.
The latest medal count as of yesterday:
Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States 18 9 10 37
China 18 11 5 34
Japan 2 6 11 19