For about a week now, Indonesia has been doing a magnificent job hosting the Asian Games, the continent’s biggest sporting event held every four years.
The event, considered the world’s second largest sporting event only after to the Olympics, marked the first time North and South Korea delegates marched together under one unified flag of Korea in the Asian Games after 12 years.
So far, dominating in gold medals and leading the overall medal tally with 130 wins is powerhouse China, with 66 gold, 46 silver, and 27 bronze medals.
Among notable athletes currently participating in the event is Joseph Schooling of Singapore, who has so far won his second gold medal after winning the 50m butterfly final on Thursday.
While the games themselves have been well organized, the event is not totally free of controversy.
Earlier this week, players from the Japanese basketball team were sent home after negotiating with prostitutes.
Meanwhile, a technical malfunction caused the flags of three medalists to crash during the medal ceremony of the men’s 200-meter freestyle swimming on Sunday. Gold medalist Sun Yang of China demanded the ceremony be conducted once again.
All controversies aside, however, we all need to take a minute to appreciate how incredible the opening ceremony was.
First, Indonesian President Joko Widodo rode a motorbike in style to the venue. He was seen doing an Evel Knievel stunt before showcasing the most impressive feat of all: dodging the Jakarta traffic, with a little help from his motorcade. While it was already dark when he arrived at the venue, Widodo was still greeted with a loud roar of cheers from the crowd.
But even more noteworthy than the president’s action-packed entrance was the mesmerizing Kemegahan (greatness) opening performance.
Held at around 7 p.m. on Saturday, the visually stunning production was directed by Wishnutama, CEO of Indonesian TV network NET.
Featured Image via YouTube / Surya Citra Televisi (SCTV)