Team American Samoa welcomed to the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan — Three members of Team American Samoa to the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games were on hand to attend the first Team Welcoming Ceremony held Friday Sept. 15. The rest of the team, training in California, is expected to arrive Sunday September 17 in time to participate in the much anticipated opening ceremony. The Games which had allotted 500 Global Media seats for coverage is now trying to accommodate 750 plus applications from around the world who want to cover what is being touted as the opening ceremony for the biggest ever multi-sport event to have been staged in Central Asia.
Samoa News coverage of the games is brought to you by Carl’s Jr.
During the welcome to teams held at the athletes’ village, the athletes were told that they can make their nations proud and inspire a generation. “Now is your time” was the theme of the ceremony.
The national flag was raised and anthem played, and a cultural performance of traditional dance was enjoyed by all with performers wearing the colors of the five regions of Turkmenistan.
Gifts were exchanged between the Ashgabat 2017 Games Athletes Village Mayor and the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of each country. Chef de Mission for Team American Samoa Herrietta Molesi presented American Samoa’s Gift while wrestler Zena Iese, the first American Samoa Athlete to arrive at the games cheered from the crowd.
More than 6,000 athletes from 65 delegations representing Asia and Oceania, as well as a refugee team from Africa competing under the OCA flag, will receive the same warm welcome, before they compete in the biggest ever multi-sport event to have ever been staged in Central Asia.
This the first time that Oceania National Olympic Committees have been invited to participate. The Games take place from Sept. 17–27.
Chef de Mission Herrietta Molesi admitted to becoming emotional when singing along with the playing of the national anthem while the Flag was being raised. “Who would have thought that American Samoa’s anthem would be playing in this country for such a prestigious event?” She said.
In addition to Chef de Mission Molesi and wrestler Zena Iese, the third Team American Samoa member on hand was Terry Custodio Auva’a, who is Team American Samoa’s Press Attache and also Samoa News Sales and Marketing Manager.
Team American Samoa’s first competition is scheduled for Track and Field Athlete Isaac Silafau competing on the 18th and then Sept. 20 with our wrestling team taking to the mat.