The last time the Asian Games came to Jakarta, the year was 1962. Not only are the Games back in Jakarta from August 18 until September 2, 2018, but they are also taking place in Palembang! This is the first time that the Asian Games have taken place in two different locations.
For these two weeks, we are welcoming around 10,000 athletes who are competing across 42 different sports. Ten of these sports are new to the Asian Games, including 3 on 3 basketball, roller sports, and rock climbing.
To start off this massive competition, the 2018 Asian Games torch was first lit in New Delhi, India, which was the site of the very first Games back in 1951.
No matter what you’re feeling toward the Asian Games right now – excitement for a few extra days off from school, frustration due to the mess of driving anywhere near Sudirman, or squinting your eyes up at the new light-up billboards – be sure to stop and realize what a wonderful opportunity this is for Jakarta, and for you!
This is a celebration of all of Asia, and a special chance to showcase the rich diversity of Indonesia. Many of the athletes and their supporters have not been to Jakarta before these Games, so it is a chance for this city to put its best foot forward and welcome them. Even the mascots are wearing clothing inspired by traditional Indonesian textiles!
The 5.5 trillion rupiah budget for the Games paid for countless improvements to existing venues, as well as the building of brand new sporting and event facilities around the city. Once the competition is finished, each of these will create extensive opportunities for Jakarta to grow healthier as a community.
What should you do during these 2018 Asian Games?
You can follow along with the action by attending events in person, watching them live online, or following updates on social media.
Be sure to remember the discipline and passion that each athlete has exhibited in their life in order to make it to this international stage. What do you love so much that you’d be willing to sacrifice to reach this incredibly high level?
Finally, keep in mind how the Games have evolved over the years. They keep adding more sports, welcoming more diverse athletes, and even spreading to two hosting locations. If this massive competition can continue to grow and change with the times, then so can you!