JAKARTA, Aug.18 (JDN.id) – Opening ceremony of 18th Asian Games was being held Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday evening, bringing the spirit of unity in diversity.
Under the theme “Energy of Asia” spectacular ceremony aimed to welcome participants and supporters from 45 countries across Asia.
More than 17,000 athletes and officials are to participate in 40 sports with nearly 500 events mostly held in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.
“In the 18th Asian Games, we, the nations across Asia, want to show that we are brothers, united and want to make achievements,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said when opening the Games, accompanied by Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
The spirit of unity was shown by North Korea and South Korea who were marching under one unification flag as Korea.
“We are making history today when North and South Korea are together,” Sheikh Fahad Al-Sabah, President of Olympic Council of Asia, said in the opening.
Al-Sabah thanked Indonesia as the host country, participants, and 13,000 volunteers for their contributions in the international multi-sports event.
The opening was opend with the performance of 1,500 Indonesian dancers presenting Ratoh Jaroe dance from Aceh, Indonesia’s westernmost province.
Attendees of the opening ceremony were surprised with a video performance of President Widodo arriving at the venue on a motorcycle.
Around 8,100 security officers from police and military were deployed to guard the ceremony.
The ceremony also showed Indonesia’s richness through dances, songs, and nature bounded in the message of unity in diversity.
“Welcome to the Energy of Asia through the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang,” said Erick Thohir, President of the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC).
This is the second time for Indonesia to host the Asia’s Olympic after the first one in 1962.