Ryan Pini – one man’s dream and a country’s hopes

By Emmanuel Narokobi

No Papua New Guinean can deny the magnitude of the Beijing Olympic butterfly event today. heats tonight. (EMTV has just confirmed that they will cross live to Beijing at 9:30pm. Race is at 9:40pm). This has been a long and hard journey for a man named Ryan Pini and the Pini family of Port Moresby. The sacrifices, the set backs, the costs and a dream held for more than a decade to reach the pinnacle of sporting excellence in his sport of swimming.

(Ryan Pini, second from left in front row)

So as the emails, phone calls, google searchs, facebook posts and blog comments on Ryan Pini keep pouring in a question one might ask is, what does Ryan Pini mean to you? Is it about an under dog coming good, (we tasted that when he won a gold in the Commonwealth Games). Is it some indication of PNG turning around after many years of financial troubles? Will it make us all PNG’eans better people? Will we take pride in who we are in the world and strive to be better country men/women? Will it launch a new generation of PNG athletes? Will we learn to not only dream but put into practice what we preach to actually achieve goals?

What exactly does all this excitement for Ryan Pini mean to us? Maybe we can answer some of these questions tomorrow but today tonight on the eve of his historic swim one man’s swimming dream will hold an entire country’s hopes.

Good Luck and God Speed Ryan!


Update 10:30pm:

Ryan came in 5th tonight. A Great Effort on his part. I was sure looking forward to a Gold but we did our best and we’ve come a long way to get there. So a big hand to Ryan and all who assisted in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics. Keep in mind that his Commonwealth Gold Medal time was 52.64 so I beleive this is yet another PB for him.

No worries Bro, Stap Wantaim Yu!!!

1 KenyaKenya Jason Dunford 51.14 OR
2 AustraliaAustralia Andrew Lauterstein 51.37
3 JapanJapan Takuro Fujii 51.50
4 FranceFrance Frederick Bousquet 51.83
5 Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea Ryan Pini 52.00
6 RussiaRussia Nikolay Skvortsov 52.26
7 CanadaCanada Joe Bartoch 52.90
8 GermanyGermany Thomas Rupprath 53.56


Update 15/08/08

Here I was thinking it was all over last night when I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Ryan’s still in the Race…WHOOOHOOOO!!! So 1pm for all of you in PNG to watch the BIGGGEST RACE OF THE YEAR (outside of the Melbourne Cup that is).

Ryan’s going to need to go 2 secs faster for him to beat Phelps, and although at first I was like well it’s a long shot etc etc. Hell stuff it lets go all out…Lets Win this thing. GO Ryan!!!

A short interview with Ryan from Radio Australia here.

Today’s Line Up Below:

UkraineUkraine Sergii Breus
FranceFrance Frederick Bousquet
ChinaChina Feng Shi
BrazilBrazil Kaio Almeida
AustraliaAustralia Andrew Lauterstein
VenezuelaVenezuela Albert Subirats Altes
United StatesUnited States Ian Crocker
United StatesUnited States Michael Phelps
SerbiaSerbia Milorad Cavic
UkraineUkraine Andrii Serdinov
South AfricaSouth Africa Lyndon Ferns
SloveniaSlovenia Peter Mankoc
Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea Ryan Pini
New ZealandNew Zealand Corney Swanepoel
KenyaKenya Jason Dunford
JapanJapan Takuro Fujii


Update 15/08/08 2.00pm

And there you have it folks, yet another PB of 51.62 and a hot ticket into the finals….THA FINALS BABYEEEEE!!!!!!!

1 United StatesUnited States Michael Phelps 50.97
2 AustraliaAustralia Andrew Lauterstein 51.27
3 KenyaKenya Jason Dunford 51.33
4 Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea Ryan Pini 51.62
5 ChinaChina Feng Shi 51.68
6 VenezuelaVenezuela Albert Subirats Altes 51.82
7 UkraineUkraine Sergii Breus 52.05
8 BrazilBrazil Kaio Almeida 52.32


Update 15/08/08 9.49pm

Okay so here we go, the last and final line up for tomorrows 100m Butterfly Finals. 8 Men, 3 Chances for a medal, 1 Golden Opportunity and a hell of a trip for all of us here in PNG.

SerbiaSerbia Milorad Cavic
KenyaKenya Jason Dunford
UkraineUkraine Andrii Serdinov
Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea Ryan Pini
United StatesUnited States Michael Phelps
United StatesUnited States Ian Crocker
JapanJapan Takuro Fujii
AustraliaAustralia Andrew Lauterstein

15 thoughts on “Ryan Pini – one man’s dream and a country’s hopes

  1. “one man’s swimming dream will hold an entire country’s hopes”. I love this line.

    Sporting can contribute significantly to national building, nationalism and unity”. For PNG to win gold in the Olympics will require a lot of government investment in sports beginning at the pre-school, primary, high school and tertiary levels. Without any investment we can only hope for only one person to bring back a medal for PNG. May be if Ryan wins will bring some vigour into investmenting in sports for PNG. Good luck Ryan Pini, we are proud of you!

  2. Hi Emmanuel,

    Much appreciation for the updates. The comment “one man’s dream and a country’s hopes”, brought tears to my eyes and I believe must have had the same impact on those that came across it. Last night while watching Ryan, I felt so proud of him. Em tru tru stret, it has been Ryna’s dream and yet desperately all Papua New Guineian’s hope and dream too.His dream has repelled out and made a great impact on everyone. Ryan, we all share the same common ground. Jointly we stand with you, Ryan we can make it and make it BIG.
    Thanking you sincerely

  3. Hi Emmanuel,
    getting very exciting in Beijing right now! Ryan is through to the final of the 100metre Butterfly. He is already a winner!! Enjoying tapping in to the excitement back home through your blog.

    We will all be behind him when he steps onto the blocks tomorrow about midday our time I think)

    Best wishes.
    GO RYAN!!

    back in Brissie.

  4. Definitely is exciting times Tania and great to hear from you. We all wait for the big day tomorrow. And you better get some rest after all that traveling 🙂

  5. Hi Emmanuel,
    How exciting to hear that Ryan is in for a big one. Yeah a top moment for PNG. Thanks for updating on this blog.

  6. Wow…. Ryan….Wow….
    It is just BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT swimming all the way……. I’m soooooooo looking forward to tomorrow…..

    Just awesome…..Ryan!

    With you all the way…..Wantoks from Dubai…..

  7. Ryan is a genuine hero to compete among the best in the world. It was one of these moments that you feel like to embracing the TV screen because you have so much joy in One person’s courage to make it to the finals. It is so marvellous to talk about. To know about Ryan Pini and PNG qualifying for the 100 metres butterfly finals is so sweet.

    We have so much Love for Great Pini.
    “Keep on shining”


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