Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced the Asian Games open on Saturday, 18th August 2018. This address was followed by a beautiful opening ceremony orchestrated in Jakarta.

The ceremony began with fireworks that took over the sky and commenced the two-week long tournament in Jakarta and Palembang. To attend these Games more than 40,000 people flocked inside the Bung Karno Stadium as the performers put together an extravagant and colorful demonstration of Indonesian culture for the audience. They began the games by performing a sketch as an actor dressed like the local president performed stunts on a motorbike in the streets of the Capital city. The crowd lauded their praise for the performer as he disappeared into the darkness of the tunnels only to gear them up for the real president to appear behind him.

A performer poses before the opening ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games at the Gelora Bung.
A dancer waits to perform during the opening ceremony.

The stadium itself was a sight to behold as it was followed a rain-forest theme and had volcanoes in the background. The purpose of this was to provide the audience with the visuals for the elements of air, water, wind and fire as thousands of performers danced on stage. Soon after the performance, an honorable tribute was paid to the victims of the Lombok Earthquake. The entire stadium fell into a long moment of silence to exhibit their solidarity with the victims and their families.

But we had our eyes out for one thing along. The Pakistan delegation parade, which raised the flag high as Naya Pakistan was being sworn in back home. 

Pakistan’s delegation parades during the opening ceremony.

Since the inaugural ceremony, several developments have taken place regarding our athletes and sportsmen. Pakistan is off to a flying start as the Hockey Team had a 10-0 win over Thailand on Monday. Just a few weeks ago, the Pakistan Hockey Team said they might boycott the Asian Games due to lack of attention given by the government to the national sport. Pakistan also clinched a 2-1 win over Nepal in the Asian Games 2018 Group D football match in Jakarta on Sunday.

With Imran Khan now Prime Minister, the sportsmen in Pakistan are hopeful that there will be a diversification of sports. In his maiden address to the nation as well, Khan stressed on the need for inculcating a love for sports in children from a young age. Khan’s position as a cricket legend in the country has made people hopeful that sports will finally be taken seriously by the government and its organs.

We wish our Pakistani players the very best of luck for all future games!


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