The first time Indonesia hosted Asian Games was back in 1962, where Jakarta, as the capital city of Indonesia, became the main venue.
Fifty-six years later, in 2018, Indonesia once again became the host for this biggest Asian sports event.
But this time the event was held in two cities, Jakarta and Palembang, which regarded as the famous cities in Indonesia.
There are a lot of interesting facts about the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. This time we will discuss some of them.
1. Indonesia is Not the Main Host for 2018 Asian Games
Initially, it was Vietnam which was chosen as the number one candidate to host the 2018 Asian Games by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). But, seventeen months later Vietnam announced a withdrawal from hosting the event.
Then, on 25 July 2018 the OCA chose Indonesia to replace Vietnam to host the 2018 Asian Games. This final decision made Indonesia a center of attention for people around the world, including foreign investors, and that might give them reasons to invest in Indonesia.
2. From Surabaya to Jakarta and Palembang
Actually, Indonesia government offered Surabaya as the main city to host the 2018 Asian Games.
But, the government and the OCA decided to chose Jakarta and Palembang instead of Surabaya because Surabaya will become the host of Asian Youth Games 2021 which the Surabaya government should focus on.
The reason why the OCA chose the Indonesian capital city was because Jakarta has adequate sport facilities, transportation networks, and other well-equipped facilities for athletes and guests.
Therefore, Jakarta was appointed as the main host while Palembang became the supportive host for the 2018 Asian Games.
3. Held in Two Cities For The First Time
For the first time, the 2018 Asian Games was held in two cities in Indonesia. This fact is so unique since it never happens before. Jakarta has a lot of facilities that make it easier to access and the city claims as one of best cities in Indonesia to live in.
For sport venues like stadiums, the government had prepared some stadiums which were located not only in Jakarta, but also in Bogor, Banten, and Bandung.
As for Palembang it already has a huge stadium, namely Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium which as big as Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta.
4. The Mascot of 2018 Asian Games
The 2018 Asian Games has three unique mascots inspired by the iconic faunas from Indonesia.
The first mascot was Bhin-Bhin which represented a greater bird-of-paradise from east Indonesia. The second one was Atung which represented a Bawean deer from the central region of Indonesia. The last one was Kaka which represented a Javan rhinoceros from western Indonesia.
The three mascots represented strategy, speed, and strength in the 2018 Asian Games. The mascots also wore unique traditional clothes from Indonesia, such as Asmat pattern, Palembang Songket, Batik Tumpal, and Sarong.
All those unique mascots showed the world that Indonesia has a magnificent cultural richness. That is why Indonesia is a good place to visit.
5. Ten New Athletics Games
There were ten new athletics games which had been added in the 2018 Asian Games.
Those ten new games were roller sport which covered skateboarding and roller skate, bridge, 3-on-3 basketball, jet ski, sport climbing, paragliding, pencak silat, jiu-jitsu, sambo, and kurash.
6. Indonesia Finished at the 5th Place
For the first time, Indonesia collected a lot of medals and had stood out at the 5th position. Indonesia obtained 31 gold medals, 24 silver medals, and 43 bronze medals. All of those medals were awarded to Indonesian athletes from 25 games.
The ninety-eight medals earned by the Indonesian athletes was the biggest achievement that Indonesian contingent had ever made.
Most of the gold medals won by the Indonesian contingent in the 2018 Asian Games were gained from pencak silat.
Probably the familiar kinds of weather in Indonesia had given some boost to the Indonesian athletes so that they could optimize their talent during the games.
7. North Korea and South Korea Marched Together in One Flag
For the first time after twelve years, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) marched together under one Korean unification flag.
Just for your information, South Korea had been outstanding by reaching the 4th position with forty-nine gold medals.
8. The Oldest and The Youngest Athletes
Another unique thing in the 2018 Asian Games was there were the oldest and the youngest athletes from Indonesia who played in the Games.
Bambang Hartono, the oldest athlete in the 2018 Asian Games, played bridge and won the bronze medal at the age of 78. He was known as one of the richest people in Indonesia and he loves to play bridge.
The youngest athlete was Bunga Nyimas, a skateboarder. She was only 12 years old, but her skateboarding skill was amazing. She earned the bronze medal by racking up 19.8 for her performance.
Well, those are some interesting facts about the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. As Indonesians, we should be proud of the fact that Indonesia had successfully hosted the 2018 Asian Games.
The performance of the athletes also made us realize that we are capable of competing internationally. Their achievement had given a big contribution to Indonesia.