Tuvalu News

Tuvalu's Esau Leads First Olympic Team

Aug 8, 2008

Logona Esau, a 21-year-old weightlifter in the men's 69-kilogram category, was the flag bearer who led his country into the Olympic Stadium in Beijing, the first time ever Tuvalu has competed in the event.

Esau previously made history at the 2005 South Pacific Mini-games in Palau, gaining Tuvalu's first medal in international competition when he won a bronze.

Ironically, Tuvalu marched in the stadium right behind Palau, in 124th position of the 205 competing countries. The countries marched in the order of their spelling in the Chinese alphabet.

Esau said he is looking forward to his debut and also his country's debut at the Olympics.

"I will get to know the Olympics during the competitions," and " will try my best," he told Xinhua News in China Thursday.

Although Esau is the only lifter from Tuvalu, Dika Toua from Papua New Guinea, another South Pacific island country, said all the Oceanian weightlifters will cheer him up during the competition as they have trained together for a long time in the Oceania Weightlifting Institute.

Paul Coffa, general secretary of the institute, said the idea of training together was to keep lifters within their own environment and they are not looking at Olympic medals at the moment.

"We're just trying to get good results and get the athletes to understand what the Olympic Games are about. It's not just another tournament," he said.

Source: Xinhua News and other sources


Tuvalu Olympians
Logona Esau carrying Tuvaluan flag
Photo: CBC screen capture

Tuvalu Olympians
Logona Esau
Photo: CBC screen capture

Video of Tuvalu arriving at the Olympics (BBC)

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