The 33-year-old Commonwealth and Olympic swimmer made the comments on arrival in Port Moresby yesterday.
Despite not having any PNG Swimming officials present to meet the star, who was with wife Carly and new-born son Nate, was his quietly affable self. Pini, who will be swimming at his last Pacific Games, is expected to lead the Team PNG charge in the pool when competition starts on Monday.
Pini said he was excited about appearing in his final Pacific Games competition in front of his home crowd.
With the Games being the last for the veteran swimmer, Pini was accompanied by his wife and two-week-old son with the rest of his family expected to be cheering him on from the stands of the Taurama Aquatic Centre. Pini will compete in the free-style, butterfly and backstroke events and is expected to face stiff competition from New Caledonia and Tahiti swimmers.
Pini said it would be a memorable Games and one that he would treasure.
Pini scaled the heights for the first time in 2006 at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games where he surprised many to win the 100m butterfly and has since gone on to win medals at the Dehli Games in 2010 as well as finishing in the top eight of the swimmers in the butterfly.
“I have swam for 20 years, the feelings good to be back home with a few days rest and to see the excellent facilities here.
“It’s challenging preparing and for these Games,” he said.
“I retired but made a comeback to finish my career on home soil.”
Pini’s presence is a morale booster for the country’s swimming team which he has lead for more than a decade.