Colonia, Yap-- Opening Day of the 2018 Micro Games dawned with pouring rain. Some might say it was a bad omen but it did not dampen the spirits of the teams that are in Yap for the next two weeks to compete in the 9th occurrence of this quadrennial event. By afternoon, the rain had subsided but the grey skies persisted. Nonetheless, as the athletes and coaches began to arrive at the Matson Yap Sports Complex for their scheduled practices and to receive their instructions for the ceremony that was set to begin at 6 p.m., laughter and smiles seemed to push away the clouds.
Families also began to arrive, setting up chairs or sitting under the eaves of the buildings and in the stadium's bleachers. By the time the teams exited the main gymnasium where they had assembled to began their parade around the new track and field arena led by banner carriers and flag bearers, everyone was exuberant with anticipation. Small children stood watching in awe as the teams filed past.
Honored guests included heads of state from the participating countries, ambassadors and sports federation officials. Governor Tony Gannigyan gave the State Address, welcoming them all to Yap and praising the dedication of the athletes.
After a round of speeches, the athletes and coaches took their oaths as Kaivin Wariy, a student at Yap Catholic High School, got ready to bring the flame into the arena. At the appointed moment, he ran into the stadium, bearing the torch past the applauding teams, guests and spectators to the hand-built cauldron in the shape of the 2018 Micro Games logo with a giant clam shell on top. Senator Vincent Figir took the torch and lit the flame to herald the official opening of the event.
The grand finale was a fireworks show that had everyone ohing and ahing as they clapped with each loud burst of sparks and twirlers, sprays and waterfalls launched high overhead in the black night sky.
Tomorrow morning's events begin at 7:00 a.m. with track and field events. The spearfishing teams will head out an hour later. The Micro Games are underway once again.