It took Vanuatu six years to finally open the 10th Pacific Mini Games yesterday evening at the Korman Stadium, with a bang.

President of the Pacific Games Council (PGC), Vidhya Lakhan, paid tribute to the late Joe Bomal Carlo, who led the delegation of Vanuatu to the 2011 Pacific Mini Games in New Caledonia to submit and win the bid for Vanuatu to host the 2017 Pacific Mini Games.

“I am delighted that the Games have returned to Vanuatu since it first hosted the Pacific Mini Games in 1993.

“The Games were cheered by the late Joe Bomal Carlo, a very dear friend to all sports members in the Pacific.

“The success of the Games will be a testament to his sporting legacy,” PGC President, Lakhan said.

“Over the next 11 days, the sporting world will be focusing on our Games, our athletes and our host, Vanuatu.

“It is a moment in time to showcase ourselves as true ambassadors, of our respective sport and country.”

Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai before declaring the Games officially open, thanked everyone that had helped in one way or another in welcoming the Pacific islands athletes to Vanuatu.

“Vanuatu Government was threatened by the PGC earlier this year to withdraw the Games, but today we are here to officially open the Games,” Prime Minister Salwai said.

“I would like to thank the generous and hardworking volunteers that have been continuously greeted the Pacific islands with their smiles.

Prime Minister Salwai challenged the athletes by saying, “Your talent and your dedication brought you here.

“Your honour is not determined by how you win, but by how you compete. Character counts more than medals,” he said before declaring the Games open.

“And now I have the honour to declare that the 10th Pacific Mini Games is finally opened.”