President Jokowi Opens 18th Asian Games with Explosive Ceremony
Date 18 Agustus 2018
President Joko Jokowi Widodo officially opened the 18th Asian Games – Asias biggest sporting event – at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium (GBK), Senayan, Jakarta, Saturday (8/18) evening in a dazzling ceremony.
“By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim (in the name of God the most merciful and gracious), I declare the 18th Asian Games 2018 open,” the President said.
“We are proud. We are honored by the arrival of the special guests from 45 countries,” the President told a crowd of 50,000 packed into the same arena where the 1962 Games were opened.
Through the 18th Asian Games, the President further said, we the Asian nations wanted to show the world that we are one in brotherhood. “In the 18th Asian Games, we the Asian nations want to show the world that we are one in brotherhood, we are united to achieve success,” the President added.
Earlier, Indonesian pop jazz singer Tulus led the event to sing Indonesia Raya national anthem, which was followed by a moment of silence in memory of earthquake victims in the resort island of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province early this month that claimed hundreds of lives.
The Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) Chair Erick Tohir and President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah also delivered their remarks at the opening ceremony.
Some 16,000 athletes from 45 National Olympic Committee (NOC) contingents compete in Games, which is co-hosted in Jakarta and Palembang from 18 August to 2 September.
As the host of the Games, Indonesia sends 1,388 people consisting of 938 athletes and 396 officials who will take part in the 40 sports contested.
For the record, this is the second time Indonesia hosts the Asian Games after it hosted the Games back in 1962. (Cabinet Secretariat/ES) (MUR/EP/YM/Naster).