Accolades for ANOC and ONOC President Robin Mitchell

October 21, 2022
Dr Robin Mitchell’s sporting career began as an athlete in the 110m hurdles and in field hockey. The world opened up when Mitchell undertook Team Doctor role for Team Fiji and progressively moved to sports administration. | Photo: ONOC

Congratulatory messages and accolades are coming in for ONOC President Robin Mitchell recognising his election as President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) at the ANOC General Assembly in Seoul, Korea yesterday.

It was already evening in Suva, the end of a quiet workday in Mitchell’s city of residence in his homeland, Fiji - as quiet as the humble, unassuming medical doctor whom 97.25 percent of National Olympic Committees of the world had just voted in as their President – a position Mitchell had acted in since 2018.

Suva is also home of the headquarters of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC), the official home of all seventeen National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of Oceania.

Among the first to respond to President Mitchell’s achievement were ONOC Executives who had spent the earlier part of the week with Mitchell at a planning workshop for the ONOC Strategic Plan 2023 to 2025, a few of them members of the ANOC Executive Council, and all of them part of leadership of NOCs.  

Note: This media release is part of a Series ONOC will be sharing as part of the messages coming in to congratulate President Robin Mitchell in his position as President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) with a membership of over 200 NOCs around the world. We begin this series with the ONOC Executive and President Mitchell’s long-time personal friend in the Olympic Movement, Sir John Dawanincura of Papua New Guinea who is in Korea at the now-concluded ANOC General Assembly. We will also share messages from other stakeholders in the region, the Olympic Movement, and around the world.

Sir John Dawanincura, President | Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee

Sir John Dawanincura, long-time Oceania sport leader and friend of President Mitchell discusses the meaning of the ANOC Presidency to Oceania.

Takitoa Taumoepeau, Secretary-General | Tonga Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (TASANOC)

Takitoa Taumoepeau (Right) with Rahmonzoda Abdullo, Vice-President of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic ofTajikistan at the ANOC General Assembly in Seoul, Korea. | Photo: ONOC

Takitoa Taumoepeau, Secretary-General of TASANOC, the National Olympic Committee of Tonga said, ‘President Mitchell’s achievement is a confirmation that through hard work and endeavour, we achieve what we aspire and dream to achieve in life regardless of our size, status, and ethnicity.’

Taumoepeau said, ‘This is also true in the sports field as we have witnessed with Tonga winning the Pacific Islands first Olympic medal through Paea Wofgramm’s silver at ATLANTA 1996 for boxing; Samoan Women’s weightlifting athlete Ele Opeloge’s silver medal at BEIJING 2008; and Fiji Men’s Sevens Rugby teams’ RIO 2016 and TOKYO 2020 gold medals and Fiji Women’s Rugby team’s bronze medal in TOKYO 2020.’

Hon. Marcus Stephen, President | Nauru National Olympic Committee

Hon. Marcus Stephen is also the Speaker of Parliament in the Republic of Nauru. | Photo: ONOC

Hon. Marcus Stephen, ONOC Executive Member and President of the Nauru National Olympic Committee (NNOC) said, ‘I am absolutely happy for Dr Mitchell and my heartiest congratulations – this is a big honour for Dr Mitchell and Oceania, a very proud day for Oceania.

‘To witness this historic moment in person makes it all the more special for me.’

Auvita Rapilla, ONOC Executive and Secretary-General of the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC)

Auvita Rapilla, a leading female sports administrator in Oceania, is Chair of the IOC Olympism 365 Commission, and a Member of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission, the IOC Coordination Commission for PARIS 2024, the IOC Technology and Technical Innovation Commission, and a Member of the ANOC Executive Council. | Photo: ONOC

Auvita Rapilla, Secretary-General of PNGOC said, ‘For the region this is fantastic, with the Olympic family acknowledging the leadership and contribution that Oceania can bring to the Olympic Movement at the highest level through Dr Mitchell’s election as President – we are very proud of this achievement.

‘Congratulations President Mitchell on your election as ANOC President. Great recognition for your leadership, contribution, and unwavering dedication to the Olympic Movement. We look forward to working with you in this new role.’

James Tobin, Secretary-General | Federated States of Micronesia National Olympic Committee

James Tobin is also Chair of the ONOC Education Commission and an ANOC Executive. | Photo: ONOC

James Tobin, Secretary-General of the FSM National Olympic Committee (FSMNOC) said, ‘This is recognition that Oceania has world class sport administrators and sport leaders.’

Ricardo Blas, Secretary-General | Oceania National Olympic Committees

Ricardo Blas of Guam is also an ANOC Executive and Member of the IOC Solidarity Commission. | Photo: ONOC

Secretary-General Blas said, ‘This is a historic day for Oceania - a day where we get to see one of us elected to the Presidency of ANOC.

‘This is a proud day for the Pacific, and especially for ONOC – President Mitchell has risen to one of the pinnacle positions of the Olympic Movement through this vote of confidence that the NOCs of the world have given him, and we are proud he is part of us.’


To get an Overview of ONOC at the ANOC General Assembly culminating on President Mitchell’s election success as ANOC President, followed by accolades, please click on the following media releases which form a Series:

Media Release 1: Oceania prepares for historic election of Mitchell as ANOC President

Media Release 2: Blas shares Oceania Continent highlights in report to ANOC Executive Council

Media Release 3: Oceania women sports administrators learning at ANOC General Assembly


About ONOC 
Established in 1981, the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) is one of five Continental Associations. It looks after the interests of 17 member nations in the Oceania Region, including Australia and New Zealand as well as seven associate members. 

ONOC has an office in Guam where Secretary General Mr. Ricardo Blas is based and the Secretariat in Suva, Fiji, where the Office of the President Dr Robin Mitchell is located.

All services and-programmes are based on the ONOC Strategic Plan for 2018-2021, and its 4 Core Functions of (1) Building and Strengthening NOCs Capacity (2) Cultivating Strategic Partnerships (3) Contributing towards Sporting Excellence and (4) Leading by Example.


For more information, please contact;

Shivneel Narayan
Chief Communications Officer (Acting)


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