South Pacific Games

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The South Pacific Games is a Multi-sport event, much like the Olympics, (albeit on a much smaller scale), with participation exclusively from countries around the South Pacific. It is held every four years and began in 1963, held by Suva, Fiji.

[edit] History

As a residual consequence of the European colonisation of the Pacific from the early part of the 18th Century onwards, many nations who participated in the first Games (of 1963) were under predominantly British or French territorial rule. Understandably this generated a certain amount of confusion as both British and French flags and national anthems dominated proceedings and were occasionally used together for winning countries. As time went on, fledgling nations gradually achieving sovereignty of their own sought to extricate themselves from their colonial past and new national anthems and flags emerged.

Like other sporting events, the South Pacific Games has experienced slight controversies. A minor dispute that still continues today is the scheduling of events landing on a Sunday. Throughout the Pacific, the Christian Sabbath remains very important (sporting events or similar actvity are illegal in Tonga for example) and scheduling at such a time would be frowned upon. However other larger nations within the region or those loosely associated with more secular states (e.g Cook Islands (New Zealand), Samoa (USA) and French Polynesia (France)) are more moderate in this regard.

Other global and regional events have also influenced and shaped the Games' history. In 1995, the year Papeete, Tahiti hosted the Games, many countries took the decision to boycott as a direct protest at French nuclear testing in the Pacific.

The Games, however, returned to near full regional participation in the following event in 1999, held at Agana in Guam.

Initially the Games were held at three year intervals although this was subsequently expanded to four following the Tumon Games in Guam

The Pacific Games have been hosted throughout the region since their inception in 1963.

The 2007 Pacific Games are to be hosted in Apia, Samoa. They will be the 13th to have been held since 1963.

[edit] South Pacific Games Locations

fr:Jeux du pacifique sud

South Pacific Games

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