SOL23: Niuean weightlifter Ramsi reflects on competing in the country that inspired her name

Ramsi Edwards narrowly missed out on the podium in her event on Friday. Photos: Terence Hunumeme, Pacific Games News Service

Ramsi Edwards is part of Niue’s weightlifting team at the Sol2023 Pacific Games and had the honour of leading her nation’s 40-plus contingent into the opening ceremony on Sunday night in Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands – the very country that inspired her name.

On Friday, the flag bearer narrowly missed out on a podium spot in the women’s +87kg weightlifting, finishing fourth.

In an exclusive interview with the Pacific Games News Service, the young weightlifter revealed that her father Tony Edwards was part of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), which she was named after.

RAMSI began in 2003 as a response from the Pacific Islands Forum to the violent ethnic tensions during one of the country’s darkest times.

‘’My name originates from RAMSI, my dad was a peace keeper and officer here in 2006 and a week after I was born, he came to Solomon Islands,” she told the Pacific Games News Service.

‘’I feel very honored not only to represent my country on an international level, but to get to see where my name comes from and the beautiful people here,” said the 17-year-old.

Speaking of her experience in Honiara, Ramsi added: “This would be a great place for holiday, the people are nice, the weather is always good and I really wish our people (back in Niue) could see great places like this”.

Accompanying her daughter to the ‘Hapi Isles’ is Ramsi’s father Tony, who is also the Assistant Chef de Mission for Team Niue.

“It’s a great opportunity to come back since being here in 2006 and 2010. And to come back and see the difference, it brings joy because of the work that we did, to restore peace and order, law and order, which makes me really happy.

‘’Now that I can bring my daughter back to show her where I worked, it’s an honour. I feel proud because she was named after RAMSI and it’s always my privilege to bring my family here, especially her. It’s just amazing.’’

Mr Edwards, who also coached the Solomon Islands rugby 7s team during the Samoa 2007 South Pacific Games, said he would be more than happy to return to Solomon Islands again if there was an opportunity.

The Sol2023 Pacific Games’ weightlifting competition wraps up on Friday at Maranatha Hall.

By Timothy Inifiri Jnr and Shoreyann Ragoso, Pacific Games News Service