Five to represent AS at Olympics; 3 locally-based
American Samoa will be represented by five athletes in the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England that will be taking place from July 27 to August 12.
At an announcement last Friday afternoon, the American Samoa National Olympic Committee (ASNOC), announced the names of the athletes who will be representing the territory in the Summer Games, with three of the five being present at the announcement.
The five representing American Samoa are Alexandra Nichole Morgan age 19 (Track and Field/Discus), Elama Fa’atonu age 18 (Track and Field/100 meters), Ching Maou Wei 26 (Swimming/ 50 meter Freestyle), Megan Fonteno 19 (Swimming/ 100 meter freestyle) and Nathaniel Tuamoheloa 18 (Wrestling 96kg Freestlye).
“Today we introduced three athletes who were available for interview that will be going to the Olympics and representing American Samoa,” said the President of the ASNOC Ken Tupua. “We want the community to know who we have that will be representing American Samoa in the Olympics. Ching Maou and Nathaniel Tuamoheloa will soon be departing the territory for Manchester, England for two months of training, while Elama Fa’atonu will be heading out to Australia at the same time, for a little more competition before the games.”
When asked how they think they will perform at this highest stage of competition, the three locally-based athletes all stated that they are going there to try their best and to represent American Samoa as best they can.
Ching Maou and Tuamoheloa also said that they would like, upon their return from the games, to give back to American Samoa by teaching the youth of the territory not only about their respective sport, but about the positive gains they can derive from it.
Fa’atonu on the other hand stated that he has plans to serve his country upon his return by joining the military.
Morgan and Fortuno were not present for interviews and are the off-island based athletes chosen to represent American Samoa.
Samoa News notes that there was no information offered as to how the five athletes were chosen — criteria or qualifications; nor was there any information on who will accompany the athletes on their 2012 Olympic journey, i.e chef de mission, coaches and officials.
OFFICIALS AND COACHES
Tupua was asked by Samoa News for the names of those who would be the officials and coaches accompanying the athletes; but he said the information was not available.
Gov. Togiola Tulafono and First Lady Mary Ann were mentioned as possibles on the list of officials, earlier in the year, but Samoa News understands they will be attending the Samoan Heritage Week celebrations in Hawai’i instead, which coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The event usually takes place the first week of August, and will be the last Samoan Heritage Week Togiola will be attending as governor of American Samoa. .
Togiola has been the major supporter of this annual Hawai’i event for the last three years, with the American Samoa government contributing funds to its budget, an action which caused local lawmakers to question the source of funds.
However, in 2010, after many complaints from the Fono, the governor moved not to use ‘unbudgeted’ funds; and unconfirmed sources have told Samoa News the local Department of Commerce has since used grant funds for the Heritage Week the past two years, which does not need Fono approval. To date, there is no government report on how much money has been used for the annual event, nor which grant or grants were the source of the money.
Several calls to Samoa News, as well as postings on Face Book have raised the question of CJ Floor, Jr. not being the wrestling athlete representing American Samoa in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Floor, Jr. earned a spot for American Samoa to compete in the Olympics in the sport of wrestling, when he represented American Samoa in the African/Oceania Qualification Tournament that took place from March 16-18 this year in Morocco. He was able to pull out a Silver Medal in the 96kg class in Freestyle Wrestling.
However, Samoa News has been told that due to a dispute between Carl Floor Sr., CJ’s father, CJ and the American Samoa Wrestling Association (ASWA), which is a member of the ASNOC, the organization has chosen not to take CJ as its Olympic athlete.
Samoa News also understands CJ and his father have since started a petition along with American Samoa’s Professional Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Deutsch Pu’u to try and get the ASNOC to send CJ to the 2012 Olympics and remove the leaders of the local Olympic committee and ASWA.
Alexandra Nichole Morgan: Female/Track and Field/Discus
Family: Daughter of Fred and Janeanne Morgan
Won the discus title at the Bison Invitational and took second in shot put.
Finished fourth in the discus throw at John McDonnell Invitational
Inducted into the Ventura County (California) Hall of Fame as Female Athlete of the Year 2011.
Ventura County female Track and Field Athlete and Athlete of the Year in 2010-2011.
Won five league titles, five county titles and six CIF Southern titles.
California State Champion 2011
Holds all discus records at Ventura High School along with county records
Education: Currently attending University of Oklahoma.
Elama Fa’atonu: Male/Track and Field/100 meter
Family: Father Soli Faatonu and Mother Tuloto Faatonu
Excelled in Soccer, Track and Field and Futsal in high school
Competed on the Under 17 and Under 20 teams in International Soccer in New Zealand
2011 American Samoa National Champion for Track and Field in the 100 meter and 200 meter.
Earned the 2011-2012 Most Valuable Player honors in futsal in the American Samoa High School Athletic Association.
Education: Graduated from Samoana High School in 2012.
Ching Maou Wei: Male/Swimming/50 meter freestyle
Family: Son of Mei-Hsiung and Pene Wei. Grandparents: Afoa and Apelima Masalosalo.
National Record for 100 meter freestyle, 50 meter butterfly, 5km open water.
Competed in 2007 Pacific Games in Apia, 2009 Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) World Championships-Rome Italy, 2011 FINA World Championships-Shanghai, China and the 2012 Oceania Championships, Noumea, New Caledonia.
Education: 2003 Samoana High School graduate, 2005 American Samoa Community College graduate and currently attending the University of Hawaii majoring in Marine Biology
Megan Fonteno: Female/Swimming/100 meter freestyle
Family: Parents: Mike and Susan Fonteno.
16 x high school All-American (high school not listed)
6 x Florida State Champion (50 meter freestyle, 200 FR, 2 x 200 MR, 2 x 400 FR)
Holds Florida state records as member of 200 MR, 200 Fr and 400 FR
1st Team All State Florida, 3 x First Team All Area
Qualified for both U.S. Nationals and Jr. Nationals
2012 SEC Champion (400 FR)
2012 All SEC First Team and Freshman Team
First NCAA Championship appearance
Made or member of 5 NCAA ‘B’ cuts (50/100 fr, 100 fy, 400/800 fr relays)
Competed in 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China
Education: Currently attending Auburn University majoring in pre-pharmacy.
Nathaniel Tuamoheloa: Male/Wrestling/96kg freestyle
Family: Son of Faimasasa Malaefono and Leilani Tuamoheloa
2007 (Bronze) South Pacific Games, Apia.
2009 (Gold) Oceania and South Pacific Cadet Championships in Greco Roman
2009 (Gold) Oceania and South Pacific Cadet Championships in Freestyle
2010 (Silver) Oceania and Youth Olympic Games Qualifier
2010 (Gold) Oceania and South Pacific Cadet Championships in Greco Roman
2011 (Gold) Oceania and South Pacific Cadet Championships in Greco Roman
2011 (Gold) Oceania and South Pacific Cadet Championships in Freestyle
2011 (Gold) Oceania and South Pacific Junior Championships in Freestyle
2011 (Silver) Oceania and South Pacific Junior Championships in Greco Roman
Education: 2012 Voc-Tech High school graduate. Attending Chabot College in California this fall, majoring in Criminal Justice.