The National, Tuesday 09th April, 2013
OCEANIA National Olympic Committee (ONOC) secretary-general, Ricardo Blas, pictured, thanked the government for its support for the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.
Blas said he was looking forward to attending the games and was pleased to be visiting the country again.
“I met with the chief executive officer, Peter (Stewart), who provided me a briefing of their Games for 2015, and I’m kind of excited because if I come for the 2015 Games, which I will, it will be the third games that I would have been in Papua New Guinea,” Blas said.
“The first one was in 1969 and then 1991 and 2015. It’s really nice to see the transformation of the land and the economic situation growing. It is quite an improvement and an honour to be a part of that in the history that I’ve been to Papua New Guinea,” the former judo competitor said.
Blas was returning home to Guam following the Associations of Olympic Committees executive meeting in Sydney and accepted an invitation from PNG Sports Federation & Olympic Committee (PNGSFOC) president and long-time friend, Sir John Dawanicura, to stop over in Port Moresby.
He met with Sir John, PNGSFOC secretary-general, Auvita Rapilla and her staff last month, before briefing the media about his visit.
The visit was an opportunity for Blas to advise and update the PNGSFOC on the 2013 Olympic Solidarity programme which helps with funding for training and education for athletes and technical officials as well as staff of the National Olympic Committees.
Blas was pleased with the performance of three PNG athletes who are studying and training at the Iowa Central Training College in the United States of America.
“Congratulations to PNG, they’ve got three athletes (Cecilia Kumalalamene, Sharon Kwarula and Peter XX) in Iowa.
“I was just watching the results last night on the newscast, it’s a great accomplishment for the athletes and again that’s through the Oceania Foundation, the Oceania National Olympic Committee and the PNG Olympic Committee.
“It all works towards the development of the athletes and congratulations to everyone here,” the 58-year-old said.