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Let The Game Begin! - The Opening Ceremony of Asian Games 2018

On 18 August 2018, 45 countries in Asia with around 10,000 athletes competing in 58 games, celebrated the opening ceremony of the biggest multisport event in Asia, Asian Games 2018, at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This year is the second time Indonesia acts as the host of the multisport event in Jakarta and Palembang, having previously done so in 1962 in Jakarta. And also the first Asian Games with the largest participants ever being held so far.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo declared the Asian Games 2018 opened with a colorful opening ceremony in Jakarta. The ceremony stage -- with features of 120-meter length, 30-meter width, and 26-meter height -- showcased a towering mountain as its background, accompanied by plants and flowers unique to Indonesia. “On behalf of the Indonesian people, we are proud and we are honored to welcome our special guests from 45 countries. With the 18th Asian Games, we, the nations of Asia, want to show [the world] that we are brothers, we are united and we want to reach our goals,” said the President.

With more than 40,000 spectators inside the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, the ceremony opened with 2,200 high school dancers from 18 senior high schools across the capital who enchanted the audience with the Saman dance, a traditional dance from Aceh, the westernmost province in the country. Welcomed by the dancers, thousands of athletes from 45 National Olympic Committee (NOC) contingents then started to walk into the arena in front of a grandiose stage designed to resemble a mountain. Each contingent was led by a representative that wore a bird-shaped costume designed by Dynand Fariz, who is famous for his creations from the Jember Fashion Carnaval, an annual parade. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Neeraj Chopra was India's flag-bearer in the opening ceremony. The Indian sports ministry had cleared an 804-member Indian contingent, including 572 athletes, for the Asian Games.

A historical moment also happened only in this year’s Asian Games, where North and South Korea joined together as one contingent. Another highlight from this event was also the arrival of President Joko Widodo with a motorcycle. You can watch the video HERE.

After all of the contingents entered the arena, Indonesia’s team entered as the last contingent of the night, cheered by the spectators. A burst of fireworks followed the announcement, marking the start of the two-week tournament to be held in Jakarta and Palembang in Sumatra.

Prior to the start of Asian Games 2018, Malaria House interviewed Sanggoe Dharma Tanjung who will represent Indonesia in Roller Sport - Skateboard sport on 28 August 2018. You can read more HERE.

Until this article published, Indonesia is sitting on the 3rd position of the medal winners with 4 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze. The Asian Games will be ended on 2 September 2018. Buy your ticket to watch the competition HERE and support Indonesian team to win more medals.

Photo by Hans Fernandy/@pulangpergipagi

By: Malariahouse | 20 August 2018