Carrying the nation's hopes: Meet the weightlifter who is the ONLY Olympics athlete from his tiny country

The entire nation of Nauru measures a minuscule 8.1 square miles, the excited 9,000 population is hoping to win the title

ONLY 9,000 people live in the Republic of Nauru, a tiny Pacific island where bingo night in a rundown hall is the biggest social extravaganza of the week. But while the entire nation measures a minuscule 8.1 square miles, the excited population is hoping to win a massive title at the Olympics. When it comes to having the hopes of your compatriots on your shoulders, weightlifter Itte Detenamo really raises the bar. Itte, 25, will be Nauru’s only competitor at the Games. And it’s the only one-man team. The one advantage of being all on his own is that there has been no debate about who carries the flag at the opening ceremony. So there will be no mistaking Itte when he takes that proud walk at the Olympic Stadium on July 27. Then again, at 5ft 9in and almost 25 stone, he would stand out from the crowd anyway. And he’s not just coming to make up the numbers. He has already smashed the Commonwealth record in his weight category and is being tipped for an Olympic medal. It would make him the biggest hero in the history of the world’s smallest island nation, which is situated in the middle of the Pacific around 2,500 miles north east of Australia. Speaking from his training base in New Caledonia, in the South Pacific, Itte said: “My preparation is going well and I am really looking forward to London. “I have never been to England, only Paris, but I have heard so much about it. It is a beautiful country and I want to go sightseeing after the Games. “It is funny being a one-man team. There is a lot of pressure because I am carrying the hopes of all the people back home. “I have eight sisters and one brother, and they will be watching with my mum, Viola, listening on radio and following the competition via email. They will want to know everything. “My dad, Vinson, is president of the Commonwealth Weightlifting Association so I hope he will be there in London with me. "He is the reason I got into weightlifting. I have been working all through the years for the Olympics. "I know I have to get it right on that one day, and that is what I set out to do. “I am from one of the smallest islands on the planet against the strongest men in the world. "But I believe I can do well. You have to say to yourself ‘anything is possible’.” Nauru gained independence in 1968 but after being hugely wealthy in the 1970s – thanks to the island’s natural resource, phosphate – the economy collapsed in the 90s. There is now 90% unemployment and the highest concentration of obese people in the world. But Itte is bringing pride back to the nation. His legendary coach, Paul Coffa, said: “Itte is an ­incredible young man. "He is up against some of the biggest nations in weightlifting, Iran, Russia and China with its billion-strong population, and yet he is ranked seventh in the world from an island with less than 10,000 people. "Iran wants to have the strongest man in the world because that is important to their culture. “They are investing millions to win the gold in the super heavyweight. “But the Pacific nations’ record is an incredible story. Their build, with strong shoulders and legs, means they have tremendous potential in weightlifting and rugby. "Itte was just eight stone when he started at nine years old. Now he is the strongest man in the Commonwealth.” Itte got involved in the sport through his older sister and dad Vinson, Nauru’s former finance minister. Ex-President Marcus Stephen is the nation’s most successful ever athlete, a weightlifter who competed at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and Sydney in 2000. He won seven gold and five silver medals at Commonwealth Games. His success meant weightlifting become Nauru’s favourite sport. When Itte was 10, his dad took him to a gym to get tips from the former president. Now, Itte trains for six hours a day. And with the help of fiancée Christiane, 24, who is a civil servant, he follows a special diet rich in carbohydrates. The hard work has clearly paid off. He competed at the Olympics in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. And he has won bronze and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games. Two years ago he rubbed shoulders with Hollywood heavyweights Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone at an event in the US. Itte is now ready to write the script at the Olympics this summer so he can take a medal and a gigantic smile back to the tiny island of Nauru.


The Nauru Project is part of Hosted In Athens 22-29 May online

Hosted in Athens has invited groups of artists and collectives of different background and nationalities to present their activity in various buildings in the centerof Athens through a series of events and exhibitions. The project intends to articulate and organize its potentials in the area of the historical centerof Athens and to involve public and private venues that can host its program in the means of hospitality. The project seeks to advocate the local art scene and to introduce the work of international artists to the broader Athenian public. To provide the conditions for dialogue and collaboration between groups, communities and individuals and to establish connections between the cities involved emphasizing on the essence of networking and collectivity. The participatory groups will be able to display their joint collaborations, shows and events in the context of a broader perspective that includes artists, curators, institutions and host venues. The aim of the project is to underpin the importance of collaboration, the individual participation and the exchange between different art scenes and to indicate new ways of working that embrace the values of exchange and hospitality. Hosted In Athens is organized by Daily Lazy Projects /////////////////////////////////////////////////// Programme Hosted in Athens - Venues open on Tuesday 22 May 18.00 23 May-29 May from 18.30 to 21.30 Tuesday 22 May (opening) 20.30 at Epaskt, Tholou & Panos 19A performance directed by Claudia C. Linder, performer Nora Jacobs (Expograph Presents: Down to the Core [did the bird tell the white horse to go into the haunted garden?] ) 22.30 party at TEMPORARY SPACE ELAIONAS forthcoming SOUZY TROS, Markoni 8 (Elaionas metro station) Wednesday 23 May 19.00 at Theater Embros, Riga Palamidou 2 Presentation of the group Omada Filopappou 20.00 at 3 137, Mavromihali 137, Neapoli The project space 3 137 presents the show 2+2= 5 by Foteini Chandra & Konstantinos Pettas Thursday 24 May 19.00 at Theater Embros, Riga Palamidou 2 Under Construction presents NLP(Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Friday 25 May 20.00 at 3 137 Mavromihali 137, Neapoli 3 137 presents FIRST COME FIRST SERVED Monday 28 May 20.00 at Theater Embros, Riga Palamidou 2 Presentation of the group Provo Principles //////////////////////////////////////// Host venues OpenShowStudio, Ag. Eleousis 14 & Protogenous Six Dogs, Avramiotou 6-8 Epaskt (The Association of Graduates of Athens School of Fine Art), Tholou & Panos 19A SKOUZE3, Skouze 3 TEMPORARY SPACE ELAIONAS forthcoming SOUZY TROS, Markoni 8, Elaionas metro station The Association of Greek Archaeologists, Ermou 136 Theater Embros, Riga Palamidou 2 3 137 Mavromihali 137, Neapoli //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Participants BEST-OFF/Vlorë, Blightman Bofiliou/Berlin, Daily Lazy Projects, Athens, Expograph/Vienna, Front Views/Berlin, GRUPPE UNO WIEN/Vienna, Les Editions Horror Vacui/Paris, Lykakis Karamanolis/Athens, MUD OFFICE/Paris, Nauru Project/Online, Niemandsland/Vienna, P O S T/Athens, SKOUZE3/Athens, Spazi Docili/Florence, collective,Trace/London, Under Construction/Athens, XYZ/Bratislava, Versaweiss/Athens, 3 137/Athens /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Parallel events The project space 3 137 presents the show 2+2= 5 by Foteini Chandra & Konstantinos Pettas, Mavromihali 137, Neapoli, Athens, opening Wednesday 23 May, 20.00 Presentation of the group Omada Filopappou at Theater Embros, Wednesday 23 May 19.00, Riga Palamidou 2 Presentation of the group Provo Principles at Theater Embros, Monday 28 May 20.00, Riga Palamidou 2 ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Media Partners: FlashArt SK/CZ, Art Act Magazine, elculture, GrandMagazine, ArtAZ, LIFO, Create an Accident, SOUTH, ARTaujourdhui, artplaces, interartive, DailyLazyBlog, Connecting Cultures, artnews, Visual Arts in Greece, radiobubble With the support of: Austrian Embassy of Athens, Athenian Brewery, Dougos Winery, Athens - Attica Hotel Association, bm:uk, Andreas Melas & Helena Papadopoulos, Athens Atrium Hotels, Novotel Hotels, Electra Hotels, Yes! Hotels Group

Dan Coopey
Industrial Landscape, 2012

Fly Away Simulation Images

Nauru Island Scenery

Fantasy Island Pennsylvania Scenery

Ni'ihau-The Forbidden Island Scenery

Sea-threatened Kiribati mulls moving people to Fiji

The low-lying Pacific island nation of Kiribati is considering buying land in Fiji to resettle its population which is threatened by rising sea levels. Kiribati's President Anote Tong says he is involved in talks with the Fijian government to purchase land on Vanua Levu - Fiji's second largest island. Mr Tong says this is the last resort to save more than 100,000 islanders. Some of Kiribati's 32 coral atolls - which straddle the equator - are already disappearing beneath the ocean. None of the atolls rises more than a few metres above the sea level. Mr Tong says that climate change is a daily battle for Kiribati - but admits that it is one that his country would ultimately lose. However, relocating the entire population to Fiji - more than 2,000km (1,300 miles) away - would be a monumental challenge, the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney reports. Kiribati's officials hope that many people would also be allowed to settle in other countries in the vast region, including Australia and New Zealand. Previously, Mr Tong suggested constructing man-made islands resembling oil rigs for people to live on.

BBC © 2012

The Island of Dr Moreau

H.G. Wells - Author
Margaret Atwood - Introduction by
Steve Maclean - Notes by
Patrick Parrinder - Editor

Adrift in a dinghy, Edward Prendick, the single survivor from the good ship Lady Vain, is rescued by a vessel carrying a profoundly unusual cargo - a menagerie of savage animals. Tended to recovery by their keeper Montgomery, who gives him dark medicine that tastes of blood, Prendick soon finds himself stranded upon an uncharted island in the Pacific with his rescuer and the beasts. Here, he meets Montgomery's master, the sinister Dr. Moreau - a brilliant scientist whose notorious experiments in vivisection have caused him to abandon the civilised world. It soon becomes clear he has been developing these experiments - with truly horrific results.

© 1995 - 2011 Penguin Books Ltd

January 31st - Nauru National Day

Nauru celebrates its national pavilion day at the World Expo in Shanghai 2010.

Manila, Philippines – Nauru celebrates its National Day today. Located in the Western Pacific Ocean, Nauru is an oval-shaped island which is located 42 kilometers south of the equator. The island is the world’s smallest island nation, just 21 square kilometers. The nearest country to Nauru is Kiribati, whose Ocean Island is 350 kilometers to the east. The island was initially named “Pleasant Island” by English visitors in the 18th century. The present inhabitants of Nauru are of mixed Polynesian, Micronesian, and Melanesian races. About four-fifths of the people are Christians. Nauruans and English are the main languages.
During the first half of the 20th century, Nauru was a “rentier state,” a term to describe those states whose national revenues are mostly derived from renting indigenous resources to external clients. These Nauruan resources came from phosphate reserves. As early as 1907, Nauru was a major exporter of phosphate. However, in the 1980s, the phosphate deposits ran out after numerous years of mining.
Nauru is a member of various regional and international organizations. These include the United Nations, Pacific Islands Forum, the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program, Commonwealth of Nations, and the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission.
Commercial and agricultural exchanges have been active between the Philippines and Nauru. The linguistic, religious, and ethnic affinities between our two peoples are responsible for the close bilateral relations.
We greet the people and government of Nauru led by H.E., President Sprent Dabwido, on the occasion of its National Day. We wish them the best and success in all their endeavors. MABUHAY!

Copyright © 2012 Tempo – News in a Flash. All rights reserved.

The Nauru Project Workshop @ Frown Tails, ReMap KM 3

Saturday 24/9/2011

The Nauru Project is an on-going artists' collaboration based on the South Pacific island of Nauru, the world's smallest island nation. The project involves exchanging information on the history of the island and other related subjects as well as the creation of artworks as a result of this pool of findings.
The workshop will focus on examining online findings relating to Nauru and its history in relation to colonialism and the West as well as other links and information relevant to island themes, self-declared micro-nations, experimental states, artists’ residencies and projects on islands as well as fictional islands and non-territorial internet states.
Maria Georgoula will present the project’s collaborators, ongoing research, artistic function and its relationship to the internet while participants of the workshop will then be invited to trace their individual online path around above subjects while using the blog as a basis and while being guided by the artist. The purpose of the project will be exploring the material provided, creating new links and enriching it by contributing their own findings and sharing their own approach to the above themes with the rest of the group in the form of discussion and presentations.

Recycled Island

P.O.Box 11087, 3004EB Rotterdam, Netherlands
Recycled island is a proposal to make a new floating island, from the existing plastic waste that is floating in our Oceans.

Recycled island is a research project on the potential of realizing a habitable floating island in the Pacific Ocean made from all the plastic waste that is momentarily floating around in the ocean.

The proposal has three main aims; Cleaning our oceans from a gigantic amount of plastic waste; Creating new land; And constructing a sustainable habitat. Recycled island seeks the possibilities to recycle the plastic waste on the spot and to recycle it into a floating entity. The constructive and marine technical aspects take part in the project of creating a sea worthy island.

The main characteristics of the island are summarized:
1. Realized from the plastic waste in our Oceans. This will clean our Oceans intensely and it will change the character of the plastic waste from garbage to building material. The gathering of the plastic waste will become a lot more attractive.
2. The island is habitable, where it will have its value as land capturing and is a potential habitat for a part of the rising amount of climate refugees.
3. The habitable area is designed as an urban setting. Nowadays already half of the World population lives in urban conditions, which has a huge impact on nature. The realization of mixed-use environments is our hope for the future.
4. The island is constructed as a green living environment, from the point of view of a natural habitat. The use of compost toilets in creating fertile ground is an example in this.
5. It is a self sufficient habitat, which is not (or hardly) depending from other countries and finds its own resources to survive. The settlement has its own energy and food sources.
6. The island is ecologic and not polluting or affecting the world negatively. Natural and non polluting sources are used to let the island exist in harmony with nature.
7. The size of the floating city is considerable in relation to the huge amount of plastic waste in the Ocean. The largest concentration of plastic has a footprint the size of France and Spain together. Starting point is to create an island with the coverage of 10.000Km2. This is about the size of the island Hawaii.
8. The location is the North Pacific Gyre, where at this moment the biggest concentration of plastic waste is discovered. This is geographically a beautiful spot North-East to Hawaii. By recycling and constructing directly on the spot with the biggest concentration of plastic waste, long transports are avoided. Because of the floating character the position could eventually be altered.