3rd Asian Indoor Games – Report from Hanoi of the Opening Ceremony on 30th October.
The Opening Ceremony of the 3rd Asian Indoor Games (AIG) took place in the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, on the 30th October with participation of athletes from 43 countries and regions.
The March Past of the athletes and officials of each country was fully supported and well received by the big crowd in the stadium. Participation in the ceremony consisted of the President of the Social Republic Vietnam Nguyen Minh Triet, Deputy Prime Ministers, Heads of Committees of the Games, International delegations, Leaders of the Olympic Council of Asia, officials, representatives of the 43 participating nations special guests with estimated 5,000 government officials, coaches and referees.
The torch of the Games was lit by three typical faces of Vietnamese Sports namely: Bui Thi Nhung (Gold Medal of Indoor Athletics in Asia), Nguyen Tien Cuong (World Indoor Shuttlecock), Nguyen Tiet Cuong (Gold Medal of Indoor Archery in Asia) in the Stadium with the applause of the spectators and athletes.
The Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Mr.Hoang Tuan Anh Head of the Games Organizing Committee delivered the welcome speech. He hoped the event could contribute to the solidarity, cooperation and development of Asia.
The President of the Olympic Council of Asia Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah also spoke and in his speech he expressed the hope that the athletes could perform to their best at the AIG and demonstrate sports friendship.
The Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet announced the official opening of the games.
The theme for this year’s Games is "For a Rising Asia ". There are more than 2,500 athletes competing for 242 gold medals in 21 sports. The Games include Indoor Track and Field, DanceSport, Chess, Tenpin Bowling, Billiards, Computer games and many others. China sent a team of 128 athletes to take part in 13 sports at the Games.
The Opening Ceremony ended with a pledge on behalf of the participating athletes and referees followed by a great performance of 59-minute of a three-chapter festival directed by Peoples’ Artist, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Le Tien Tho. The performances depicted ‘The Sports Festival of the Youth’, ‘The Vietnamese Cultural Identity’’ and “Asia during the Period of Integration and Development’. There were 5,000 performers and students from Hanoi professional athletics as well as performing arts institutions.
The Opening Ceremony ended with an impressive firework display and everyone went back feeling good and ready for the competitions to begin.
(Moira Tan from Hanoi)