President Erin Tierney was a member of the first Cook Islands Olympic team, and the first female Cook Islands Olympian.
“Olympians Cook Islands unites and acknowledges our Cook Islands Olympian family,” said Tierney, who received “overwhelming enthusiasm and support” after coming up with the idea of forming the association and approaching fellow athletes for membership.
“We have 30 unique people with amazing and varied skill sets who have competed at Olympic Games in the last 30 years,” she added.
“Our members are eager to meet each other and contribute to sports in the Cook Islands. We will actively promote the values of Olympism as athletes, officials, coaches and administrators.”
Olympians Cook Islands will be affiliated to the World Olympian Association, the international family of Olympians, which Tierney says means the association will be able to access service to society grants and deliver projects in the Cook Islands.
“Our Olympian projects will blend sport, culture and education whilst displaying effort, excellence and respect,” said Tierney.
“It isn’t just a set of values that exist in black-and-white print, it is a manner of behaving and communicating that is encouraging, peaceful, aspiring and dignified.”
Olympians Cook Islands will also be able to tap into educational opportunities for Cook Islands athletes transitioning out of their sporting career.
“This is an important aspect for many of our younger members, who may have sacrificed a career path in order to dedicate their time to training,” said Tierney.
CINews will be featuring athlete profiles during the week up to Olympic Day on Saturday. You can also listen to 88FM for interviews with resident Olympians during the morning from 9-11am.