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Much of this is untrue.
on 9 February 2012
A great deal of what is said is pure exaggeration if not patently false. But, well, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
1. Pohnpei is not a country. It is one of four states of the Federated States of Micronesia (which is a country). Pohnpei has never created any system to naturalize foreigners as citizens and has never permitted a foreign national to become a citizen. I doubt they ever will have a naturalization system. Thus, it was never within the realm of possibility for Watson and Conrad to become citizens of Pohnpei. Notwithstanding, Watson and Conrad falsely claim that they applied to become naturalized citizens but chose not to do so because the process would have taken five years (again, this is false).
2. The obesity rate is quite high for adults in Pohnpei but not in general for the children. The children are athletic in general and many are thin and lean. Children excel in baseball and basketball there.
3. As to Watson and Conrad's claim that Pohnpei has never beaten Guam in any sport- that's untrue. Pohnpei swimmers and its baseball and basketball teams have often beaten "national" teams from Guam (which is also not a country but rather is a US Territory).
There are any number other falsehoods and exaggerations but you get the idea. The author's book tries to diminish the Pohnpeians to enhance Watson and Conrad. The true story is that football is/was not widely played in Pohnpei and Watson and Conrad started a team (to their credit) made up of highly athletic, football-inexperienced children who were not obese.