by Quinton Alomp – EM TV, Port Moresby
The Duke of York, His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, has described the opening ceremony of the 15th Pacific Games as “the most amazing, spectacular opening ceremony.”
The Prince officially opened the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby last night.
He was amazed with the colorful traditional dances from the 22 provinces and different tribes of Papua New Guinea.
“It has showcased a model of diversity and inclusion,” the Prince said before reading a message sent from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In the letter, the Queen said, “I am pleased to see that Australia and New Zealand will be participating in the games for the first time this year.”
The opening ceremony was witnessed by an audience of more than 20,000 at the Sir John Guise BSP stadium, with millions watching on television across the Pacific, and around the world through online livestreaming.
The government has spent over a billion Kina within three years to get all sporting venues ready.
PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said the world class games facilities excluding the K280 million Games village, which will be used by students from University of PNG, will continue to benefit domestic and regional sporting events in future.
“The sporting facilities that we have built for this game are world class. And it will continue to benefit the Pacific region for many generations to come,” O’Neill said in his official’speech.
Despite doubts that the event will not be ready on time, the government maintains confidence that the event was on schedule, preventing any second option.
Australia and New Zealand are taking part for the first time, bringing the total number of participating countries to 24, who will be participating in 28 different sporting codes.
Papua New Guinea has the biggest contingent in the games.
The games will end on July 18, but with such a spectacular opening, people are already expecting an even more colorful closing ceremony.