Green, digital, smart…19th Hangzhou Asian Games kick off with a bang
The 19th Summer Asian Games, which was postponed for a year due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), kicked off with a bang at the Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, capital of China’s Zhejiang Province, at 9 p.m. (KST) on Wednesday.
Significantly, the Games were held five years after the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games after the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plunged the world into a crisis for the past three years, and wrote another narrative on the autumnal equinox, when the length of day and night are equalized.
In a performance themed “Water and Autumn Light,” the organizing committee decorated the stage floor and seats opposite the central headquarters with LED display boards to create a colorful visual effect that caught the attention of the audience and TV viewers at a glance.
The organizers then warmly welcomed a record-breaking 12,500 athletes from 45 countries with an autumnal greeting accompanied by a heartwarming video depicting the rich history of Liangzhu culture, which was formed around Hangzhou during the Neolithic period 5,000 years ago.
Chinese President Xi Jinping personally attended the opening ceremony and welcomed the athletes and other dignitaries to Hangzhou, including International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, South Korean Prime Minister Han Deok-soo, Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Kuwaiti Crown Prince Mishal Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, and Timorese Prime Minister Sanana Gusmao.
At the Olympic Sports Center Stadium, dubbed the “Giant Lotus” for its vivid representation of Hangzhou’s iconic lotus flower on the stadium’s exterior, the Chinese national anthem followed by the raising of the Chinese Five Star Red Flag was followed by the entrance of the athletes.
Athletes from each of the 45 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in the OCA, in order of their English alphabetical abbreviations, entered center stage in a single file line and then exited in two groups.
Afghanistan (AFG) was the first to enter the ceremony, and when the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), with boxer Bang Chol-mi and shooter Park Myong-won as co-flag bearers, entered for the seventh time, a loud cheer erupted.
It was a welcome gesture from the Chinese people to the DPRK, which returned to the international sports stage after a five-year absence.
The DPRK unilaterally boycotted the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics in 2021 to prevent COVID-19 from entering the country and was subsequently suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and banned from international competition until the end of 2022.
With the IOC lifting its suspension for the 2023 Games, North Korea seized the opportunity to return.
North Korea sent 185 athletes to compete in 18 sports.
Co-captains Koo Bon-gil (fencing) and Kim Seo-young (swimming) and a 100-member South Korean contingent waved the flag for the 16th time.
The team, led by Choi Yoon, the Korean athletic director, and Jang Jae-geun, the vice director of the Jincheon athletic village, marched proudly in trendy white tops and bottoms, waving the flag in their hands, and Prime Minister Han Deok-soo, who was at the headquarters, waved back.
South Korea is sending a record-breaking 1,140 athletes and officials to the Games, aiming to win more than 50 gold medals and finish third in the overall standings.
After 40 minutes of waiting for the last of the athletes to enter, President Xi Jinping declared the Games open.
In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and make the Games eco-friendly, the organizing committee abandoned the opening ceremony tradition of fireworks and used augmented reality (AR) technology to create a festive atmosphere with LED displays and video of fireworks exploding in the sky above the main stadium.
The final highlight was the lighting of the torch.
Five of China’s top stars, including men’s world No. 1 table tennis player Fan Zhendong, who won gold medals at the recent Summer and Winter Olympics, carried the flame before passing it to the final torchbearer, 2020 Tokyo Olympic swimming gold medalist Wang Sun.
A “digital torchbearer,” created by the organizers to represent the more than 1,500 participants who joined the online torch relay by waving their mobile devices, 바카라사이트 ran alongside the Olympians, including Pan Zhendong, who physically ran through the sky and water of Hangzhou’s main stadium, and finally entered the main stadium and ran around the LED display before joining Wang Shun in front of a pre-prepared torch stand.
The “human” torchbearer and the “virtual reality” torchbearer jointly lit the flame that will light up the Games for 17 days.
Hangzhou was unanimously voted to host the 2022 Summer Asian Games at the 2015 Asian Olympic Council (OCA) General Assembly.
It will be the third time China has hosted the Summer Asian Games, following Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.
As the home of China’s information technology (IT) industry, Hangzhou announced early on that the Games would be green, digital, and smart.
Utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as three-dimensional digital video and AR, fifth-generation mobile communications technology, and big data, the Games will feature an online and offline torch relay, as well as a dedicated online platform to watch the games.
The Asian Games will kick off on October 24 with the medal race in full swing at 54 venues across six cities in Zhejiang province, including Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Huzhou, Shaoxing and Jinhua, and will conclude on October 8.
Twelve thousand athletes from 45 NOCs will take to the starting line with their honor and national pride on the line for 481 gold medals in 40 sports and 61 events. 슬롯사이트