Friday, January 28, 2011

Am. Samoa Olympic Comm. head dies

The Associated Press

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa -- 
Family members say Ben Solaita, the president of the American Samoa National Olympic Committee, has died. He was 61.
Soia Solaita-Iopu says her father died Thursday at LBJ Medical Center on American Samoa.
Family members say Solaita, who had served as the U.S. territory's Olympic committee head for the past 13 years, was hospitalized last Friday following a stroke and had remained in a coma until he died.
Olympic committee board member Larry Sanitoa says Solaita's passing is "a sorrowful and heartbreaking loss for all of us; especially to the American Samoa National Olympic Committee." The Pacific island territory competed in its first games in 1988, but has yet to win a medal.
Solaita had been working to help prepare an American Samoa team to participate in the 2011 Pacific Games in New Caledonia in late August.

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