2018 Asian Games opening ceremony presents spectacular performances
Jakarta, (Aug. 17) - The biggest sporting event in Asia, the 2018 Asian Games, has begun with a grand event that will pump up the nation’s reputation internationally and be a point of pride for all Indonesians. The multisport event began with a grand and spectacular performance that marked the start of the Games.
The opening ceremony started at 7:00 p.m. on Aug. 18 at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium, Jakarta. Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo attended the event, as did representatives from 45 countries in Asia. President of the Asian Olympic Council (OCA) Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahda Al Sabah and chairman of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) Erick Thohir accompanied the President to welcome the participants. Furthermore, the opening ceremony, led by Wishnutama as creative director, saw the attendance of Prime Msinister of the Republic of Korea Lee Nak-Yeon.
The opening featured the biggest stage ever at an opening ceremony for this multisport competition. With a total weight of 600 tons and length of 120 meters, and at 30 meters wide and 26 meters high, the stage was used by 6,000 athletes and officials from all contingents, as they marched under the banner of their respective countries’ pride. Representatives from all 44 participating countries participated in the parade. As for the Republic of Korea and DPR Korea, the two nations marched in the parade under a unified Korea. Each country’s contingent was led by an official who carried their country’s nameplate while wearing Garuda bird-styled clothes designed by Dynand Fariz, founder of the Jember Fashion Carnival.
Indonesia's flag-raising ceremony was carried out by flag-hoisting troop Paskibraka, which consists of 70 students under the formation of 17 people as bodyguards, eight people as flag bearers and 45 people as guards representing Indonesia’s Independence Day, Aug. 17, 1945.
The opening of the 2018 Asian Games, which is expected to be watched by billions of people around the world, will be enlivened by 18 top Indonesian artists, including three-time Grammy Award nominee Joey Alexander and international-class singer Anggun C. Sasmi. Other performers include Raisa Andriana, Ariel Noah, Tulus, Kamasean, Fatin, GAC, Putri Ayu, Rian D'Masiv, Cakra Khan, Sheryl Sheinafia, Rossa, Wizzy, Rinni Wulandari, Edo Kondologit, Maruli Tampubolon and Via Vallen. Besides these singers, the show also featured 3,600 dancers and performers under the direction of Indonesia's top choreographers, Denny Malik and Eko Supriyanto, and accompanied by thousands of musicians, including Addie MS and Ronald Steven. It is worth noting that they had been practicing for 126 days and paid for 231,000 bottles of drinking water and 38,500 servings of food in order to provide an unforgettable colossal performance.
More than 50,000 invited guests comprising the general audience, athletes, officials, security personnel and journalists attended the event. In order to avoid congestion, INASGOC, in collaboration with the Jakarta administration and the Jakarta Metropolitan Police, closed several roads, namely Jl. Asia Afrika, Jl. Gerbang Pemuda, Jl. Senayan and Jl. Sudirman to the north. Many reached the venue via public transportation, but those who drove their private vehicles parked them in Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD). The general audience entered through gates 5, 6 and 7 while VIPs entered through gates 1 and 2.
The committee also coordinated with the police and other authorities to maintain order and security, and also ensure comfort for all attendees. The police deployed 8,000 personnel scattered in several regions and used hundreds of surveillance cameras.
Erick Thohir said the 2018 Asian Games would be the biggest Asian Games in history and believed that it would be a valuable legacy for the next generation of Indonesia. "Starting with a grand, spectacular and sacred opening ceremony, we believe that the 2018 Asian Games will create peace on the Asian continent and certainly strengthen the unity of the Indonesian nation," he said.
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Organizing Committee of the 2018 Asian Games
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