Team PNG was officially welcomed to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Village at 8pm local time, yesterday.
The Village welcome signifies the tradition at the Olympics and provides the opportunity for the Mayor of the Games Village to officially welcome each country to the village and for the flag of the country to be raised at the village.
Vice Minister for Sports, Labi Amaiu, who was attending a Commonwealth Sports Ministers meeting ahead of the Games said Team PNG was pleased to have joined the rest of the world for the welcome ceremony.
After the raising of the PNG flag and the playing of the National Anthem, Chef de Mission, Emma Waiwai presented a gift on behalf of the team to the Mayor.
The gift, a decorative carving of the Team PNG logo, was custom made in PNG for the occasion.
Upon handing over the gift to the Mayor, Waiwai shared the team’s pleasure to be in Rio for the Games and the amazing hospitality shown to them in the village.
Waiwai, on behalf of the team wrote a message on the Olympic Wall of Truce. Her message was among other messages of 206 National Olympic Committees participating at the Games.
As described by Jason Pini, who was present at the Olympic village, the welcome ceremony was centred around enthusiastic performances from local dancers showcasing the traditions of Brasilian music and dance over its existence, culminating in a contemporary samba street party.
Team PNG athlete, Toea Wisil was first to join in the celebrations with the performance.
Toea arrived in Rio on the eve of the opening ceremony, along with coach Alison Fairweather. Also at the ceremony were Ryan Pini, Raymond Ovinou and the taekwondo athletes, Samantha Kassman and Maxemillion Kassman.
Boxer Thadius Katua is set to face a Russian opponent in the under 60kg division in his first bout on Sunday at 11:00 am Rio time.