The Pacific turned up on Sunday night at the newly built National Stadium in Honiara as the 2023 Pacific Games was officially opened in a ceremony befitting the region's premier sports event.
With the theme of 'Iumi Na Iumi' meaning 'We and Us,' the opening ceremony, witnessed by 10,000 fans who packed the stadium and hundreds and thousands who watched the televised coverage around the Pacific and more across the globe on social media platforms, was a splendid welcome that lifted the spirits of everyone watching.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare welcomed one and all, thanked those who had financially supported the preparations and declared the Games open as contingents from across the Pacific Oceans celebrated.
The Solomons put up a display that exemplified the diverse cultures of the nation and signalled the country was happy to be hosting over 5,000 athletes and officials from across the 24 countries participating.
"Tonight, we take the first step in telling our story to the whole world," Sogavare said.
"The Pacific Games represents the true spirit of the Pacific. It showcases the very best in sport but it also plays a vital role in building economic, social, spiritual and cultural bridges.
"I would like to thank our partnership with key nations with significant contributions and sponsors that made this Games possible."
Solomon Islands National Olympic Committee (NOCSI) president Martin Rara, in his welcome address, extended a warm welcome to all participating countries and Solomon Islands as a whole.
Rara thanked all who have been part of the journey from day one.
"We have strived to create an unforgettable experience for all participants and spectators," he said.
"This ceremony is a celebration of the spirit of unity and friendship. Remember that despite the different backgrounds and experiences, we are all united as the Pacific Islands."
Pacific Games Council (PGC) president Vidhya Lakhan urged all participants to be good ambassadors during the Games.
"Congratulations to all the athletes from all participating countries for your selection to compete in the Pacific Games. It is indeed an honour and privilege to do so.
"I therefore urge each one of you to be good ambassadors of your sport and your country," Lakhan said.
Some of Solomon Islands former athletes and stars participated in the Games' baton final relay run home before it was placed in a special stand in a water cubical inside the stadium.
Games medals up for grabs
As competition hits up from Monday, countries will be challenging for medals already on offer.
Competition in the swimming and weightlifting means medals will already be won by the end of the day.
There are eight gold medals are at stake in swimming with 15 in weightlifting.
Other sports that are also on the schedule to kick off today includes rugby league nines.
Sailing also gets underway on Monday.
Volleyball, football, basketball and tennis had started last Friday, 17 November. Below are the early results:
The opening day of women's volleyball saw wins for Papua New Guinea (PNG), Tahiti and Samoa at a packed Friendship Hall on Saturday.
Tahiti beat American Samoa 3-1 before PNG and Solomon Islands played out a thrilling five-set match with PNG edging home 3-2.
In Saturday's other women's match, Samoa beat Tuvalu 3-0.
In the men's competition, defending champions Tahiti beat Tuvalu in straight sets 2-0, Tonga defeated Kiribati 3-0, Samoa eased past Solomon Islands 3-0 and Fiji beat American Samoa 3-1.
On Friday, Samoa had secured a remarkable 3-1 victory over New Caledonia, Kiribati defeated hosts Solomon Islands 3 -2 and Tahitians won by 3 sets to 1 over a spirited Fiji side.
In an upset Tonga edged New Caledonia 82-80 in a nail-biting men's basketball contest at Honiara's Friendship Hall on Saturday.
The Melanesian battle saw PNG defeated Solomon Islands 81-34, while Fiji proved too strong for Tahiti, winning 70-45.
The Fijian women's side thumped Solomons 82-43.
On Friday the Cook Islands defeated Tonga 76-44 and Tahiti beat PNG 84-38.
In the opening men's match on Friday, Samoa defeated Solomon Islands 56-49.
New Caledonia men's football team thrashed Tonga 7-0 while Fiji thumped Northern Mariana Islands 10-0, with star striker Roy Krishina among the list of names on the scoresheet with a hat-trick.
In women's football at Lawson Tama Stadium on Saturday Samoa recorded a thrilling 3-2 win against Tahiti, Solomon Islands narrowly defeated Vanuatu 1-0, while PNG started off their campaign on Friday with a 9-0 drubbing of American Samoa.
New Caledonia came from behind twice to beat Cook Islands 5-2.
The Solomons started off the men's football competition with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Samoa.
Pacific Games media reported that the Solomon Islands women remain undefeated in the tennis teams' event beating Vanuatu 3-0 at Honiara's National Tennis Centre on Saturday to follow their opening day win over Fiji.
In the other women's teams matches on Saturday, Samoa beat Cook Islands 3-0 and Papua New Guinea (PNG) defeated Nauru 3-0.
In the men's teams event Tahiti defeated Vanuatu 3-0, Fiji beat Solomon Islands 3-0, Tuvalu defeated Nauru 3-0, New Caledonia beat Cook Islands 3-0 and PNG defeated Tonga 3-0.
In Friday's men's team event matches, Guam beat Tonga 3-0, Samoa defeated Solomon Islands 2-1, New Caledonia beat Tuvalu 3-0 and Cook Islands edged Nauru 2-1.
In the women's team event, Guam defeated Cook Islands 3-0, Tonga beat Nauru 3-0, Solomon Islands defeated Fiji 3-0 and Tahiti beat Vanuatu 3-0.