Asian Para Games closing ceremony an event for humanity
The closing ceremony of the 2018 Asian Para Games took place at Madya Stadium at the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex in Jakarta on Oct. 13, starting at 7:00 p.m.
After the hoisting of the Indonesian national flag, the ceremony began with a speech by Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who delivered his warm message to all stakeholders that contributed to the success of this year’s Asian Para Games.
“The 2018 Asian Para Games is more than a competition because this event involves humanity that embraces diversity and eliminates all stigmas,” said Kalla.
Kalla expressed hope that all contingents from 43 countries, totaling 2,888 athletes, could cherish the memorable moments they enjoyed while competing in Jakarta.
“Please send my warm greetings to the peoples in your countries. Indonesia will be missing you all,” he added.
Indonesia successfully organized the Asian Para Games with 18 branches of sports competitions being completed within eight days from Oct. 6 to 13.
The national flags of 43 countries were arranged on the roof of the stadium’s tribune. The Indonesian flag was in the middle of all the flags, flanked by the Asian Paralympic Committee flag and the 2018 Asian Para Games flag.
Indonesia as host of the Asian sports event managed to occupy fifth place overall by gaining 37 gold medals, 47 silver medals and 51 bronze medals.
The contingent from Thailand brought a special message by creating an atmosphere of unity and harmony through its supporters, who adorned their faces with the Indonesian flag.
Moreover, Thailand also conveyed a message to the public through its athletes who participated in shooting events at the Games.
“Let’s hope that what has been performed by these disabled athletes can motivate people with and without disabilities everywhere,” said Thai coach Thanacai Prasan.
Thailand was Southeast Asia’s strongest representative in shooting with two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze medal, beating the other two ASEAN countries, Indonesia and Malaysia, which earned none at this year’s Games.
Unlike in the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony used the athletics training ground as its venue, with a huge screen propped up behind the theater stage. Entitled “We Are One Wonder”, the ceremony celebrated the success of extraordinary athletes who proved that, through unity, many wonderful achievements could be made beyond the limitations of humankind.
Earlier on the same day, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani praised the hard work and perseverance of the Indonesian athletes throughout the Games.
“Their achievements are much to be proud of and make us all feel happy. They have untiringly and enthusiastically struggled for Indonesia,” she said on Saturday.
The minister’s statement was made before President Joko Widodo during a program that honored the athletes at Bogor Palace.
The program was also attended by Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, National Paralympic Committee (NPC) chairman Senny Marbun, chef de mission of Indonesia’s Asian Para Games contingent Arminsyah and all Indonesian teams, athletes, coaches and officials.
Reporters: YP, NF
Editors: ES, DW
AGP Media and PR in cooperation with The Jakarta Post