Team Cook Islands first competed in the Olympic Games in 1988. Seven Cook Islanders represented the country in that Games, which was held in Seoul, Korea.
This year marks 30 years since the Cook Islands first competed at the Olympic Games, and in a bid to mark this momentous occasion, the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee, along with local Olympians and other sporting bodies, have this week joined hands to celebrate Olympic Week.
“It is also significant that our tiny nation has produced 30 Olympian athletes in these 30 years,” said former Olympian Erin Tierney.
“The Cook Islands first attended the Olympics in 1988 in Seoul, Korea. A team of seven athletes competed in athletics, boxing and weightlifting.”
The Cook Islands now competes across six Olympic codes – athletics, boxing, weightlifting, swimming, sailing and canoeing.
“This Olympic Week is an opportunity to reflect on the Olympic values of ‘friendship, respect and excellence’, and how we find unity in sport,” Tierney said.
“Whether you are an athlete, a spectator, administrator, official, volunteer or supporter, you are a valuable part of the equation in strengthening our communities through sport and education.”
Olympic Week is celebrated worldwide with sport and education activities centred around the theme of ‘Learn, Move, Discover’.
“If you haven’t moved in a while, perhaps you can get into action and join the Olympic Day Run this Thursday (today),” said Tierney.
“With so many sport and exercise groups on Rarotonga these days it’s never too late to ‘discover’ a new activity, to learn, grow and challenge yourself.”
The annual Olympic Day Fun Run will be attended this year by resident Cook Island Olympian athletes.
Everyone is invited to come along, mix and mingle with the Olympians and join the event, which starts at 4.30pm from the Punanga Nui Markets. The fun run will begin at 5pm.
Cook Islands Olympians
Teina Teiti (Sydney 2000 – Athletics), Mark Sherwin (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 – Athletics), Patricia Taea (London 2012, Rio 2016 – Athletics), Apii Tapoki (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 – Athletics), Harmon Harmon (Athens 2004 – Athletics), Gordon Teokotai Heather (Beijing 2008 – Athletics), Patrick Tuara (London 2012 – Athletics), Alex Beddoes (Rio 2016 – Athletics), William Taramai (Seoul 1988 – Athletics), Erin Tierney (Seoul 1988 – Athletics), Zekaria Williams (Seoul 1988 – Boxing), Richard Pittman (Seoul 1988 – Boxing), Terepai Maea (Seoul 1988 – Boxing), Ella Nicholas (Rio 2016 – Canoeing), Bryden Nicholas (Rio 2016 – Canoeing), Joshua Utanga (London 2012 – Canoeing), Peter Taua Henry (Rio 2016 – Sailing), Helema Williams (London 2012 – Sailing), Teau McKenzie (Rio 2016 – Sailing), Turia Vogel (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 – Sailing), Zachary Tepaia Payne (London 2012 – Swimming), Wesley Roberts (Rio 2016 – Swimming), Tracey Keith-Matchitt (Rio 2016 – Swimming), Celeste Brown (London 2012 – Swimming), Petero Okotai (Beijing 2008 – Swimming), Mike Tererui (Seoul 1988 – Weightlifting), Sam Nunuke Pera (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004 – Weightlifting), Sam Junior Pera (Beijing 2008 – Weightlifting), Luisa Peters (Rio 2016, London 2012 – Weightlifting), Joseph Kauvai (Seoul 1988 –Weightlifting).