News Release

Athletes Play, and Pray Together

The 14th Pacific Games held in New Caledonia have recently concluded. Two memorable weeks were highlighted by many outstanding performances by both teams and individual athletes from the 22 Pacific Island nations and territories taking part in the Games.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were among the 2700 athletes representing their countries, including New Caledonia, Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Tahiti, and others. While fiercely loyal to team and country during the Games, these young athletes put competition aside and were of one heart and one spirit as they came together for Sunday worship and a friendship dinner after church services, gathering together different New Caledonian branches.

"As members of the Church, these outstanding athletes share common values of respect for all people regardless of nationality, religion or circumstances. They also believe in giving back to their countries and communities by following the example of Jesus Christ and serving others," remarked Elder Taniela Wakolo, Church Leader in the Pacific Area.

Later that afternoon, members of the Fijian men's and women's basketball teams put this belief into action as they visited sick children at a local hospital. They offered words of hope and encouragement along with some small gifts, and were rewarded with big smiles from their young admirers.


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