Indonesia looks confidently to the future as Asian Games close with spectacular ceremony
IOC President Thomas Bach was at a spectacular closing ceremony of the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, full of the enthusiastic spirit that has been evident throughout the whole of these Games.
The ceremony was topped off with a section by Hangzhou, China, the next host of the Asian Games in four years’ time. K-pop was out in force, with boy band Super Junior lighting up the stadium.
After the ceremony, President Bach tweeted: “Congratulations Indonesia! Congratulations Asia! A great Asian Games. A young continent, united in its love of sport - showing its unity in all its diversity.” He also confirmed that he is now a Super Junior fan.
Throughout his visit to Jakarta, the IOC President was accompanied by the President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, under whose leadership the Games were organised. Earlier, they had together paid a courtesy visit to the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, near the Indonesian capital. Speaking after an hour-long meeting, President Widodo announced that Indonesia would be a candidate for the Olympic Games 2032. He said: “After the excellent experience of the Asian Games, we now believe that we can host the very biggest sporting event. In Indonesia, we believe we can host the Olympic Games 2032.”
President Bach added: “The IOC really appreciates Indonesia's candidature for 2032. With the great success of these Asian Games, Indonesia has demonstrated that it has all the ingredients to organise Olympic Games in a very successful way. The Asian Games build a very solid foundation for such a candidature. It is a great decision which gives the youth of this young country a vision for the future and capitalises on the success of the Asian Games.”
The President of the Indonesian NOC, Erick Thohir, who is also Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Asian Games, joined President Bach in many of the meetings. The IOC President discussed the excellent organisation of the Games with the Vice-President of Indonesia, Jusuf Kalla, who is also Head of the Steering Committee of the Games Organising Committee. Also present was the country’s Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati. Both welcomed and supported the Indonesian candidature, which they said had been made possible by the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020.
During a press conference, the IOC President praised the OCA and its President, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah , and the Organising Committee, under Chairman Erick Thohir, for “truly excellent Games which give a great example to all”.
During his visit, President Bach attended several sports competitions (volleyball, squash, judo and rugby 7s) and toured the athletes' village before taking part in the closing ceremony.
The Asian Games saw more than 11,000 athletes from across Asia competing in 58 sports.