Posted On: August 14, 2019
It’s About Time
Yes, it is about time for me to resurface here on this blog and publish some new information related to my memoir, Seasoned. Today’s post is about an event that took place while I was on Saipan in the Peace Corps. I wrote about it in Chapter 6, “Moving On.” Since those Peace Corps years were a half century ago, this post is about time and time’s passage and how you get busy with life and, before you know it, ten days that changed your life have become a 50-year-old memory. I refer to the Micronesian Olympic Games that took place in early July 1969.
The Micronesian Olympic Games, 50 Years On
Here’s how I introduced the MicrOlympics on page 130 in the book:
“A few months after our Micro VII group arrived on Saipan [September 1968], plans were beginning for a historic sporting event in Micronesia. Saipan was to play host to the first Micronesian Olympic Games (Microlympics) in July 1969. Teams of seventy-five athletes from all six districts of the Trust Territory would gather to compete in ten different sports, including men’s and women’s volleyball. Gold, silver, and bronze medals would be awarded for the top three finishers in every event.”
Early this year, a number of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who had worked to organize the MicrOlympics expressed interest in putting life back into those 50-year-old memories to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic Micronesian event. I offered to assemble and arrange the stories, memories, photos, and documents from RPCVs who were there. Between March and July, I had a wonderful time combining anecdotes from interviews with fellow RPCVs who played key roles, photos sent in to an RPCV website, and archived materials to write a 50th anniversary account of the Games.
Like many of my RPCV friends, I dug through old photo albums and slide assortments to find images from the Games. To my surprise, I found this one of the Marianas District men’s volleyball team that I coached:
When I began the research for this brief history of the MicrOlympics, I wondered if we’d be able to turn up any Olympic medals still in the possession of athletes or of athletes’ families.
One athlete who lives on Saipan still has his bronze (3rd-place) medal he won as a member of the Marianas basketball team.
Read All About It
You can read my story on the RPCV website here.