The 18th Asian Games were held for two weeks in Jakarta and Palembang, and needless to say they were weeks full of excitement and enthusiasm. All the competing teams gave their best during the Games. Their motivations, commitments, and hard work will definitely remembered for a long time. But, just like all the good things in life, the festive two weeks have come to an end, and what a rainy, remarkable, and spectacular closing ceremony it was at Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) last night.
Starting off with fireworks and the Indonesian national anthem, the ceremony also saw a heartwarming speech from our very own Vice President Jusuf Kalla, and a series of spectacular performances by local and international artists. However, in case you missed it, don’t worry: here are the six highlights from the closing ceremony.
The closing ceremony was all about spectacular performances from some of our favorite local and international superstars. One thing’s for sure—last night’s rainy weather definitely didn’t stop them from giving it their best at GBK. As the opening ceremony focused more on jaw-dropping performances, the closing ceremony was warmer and more crowd-friendly. Local musicians such as Afgan, Bunga Citra Lestari, RAN, Gigi, Siti Badriah, Dira Sugandi & J.Flow, and Bams Samson & Lea Simanjuntak took centre stage last night.
On the other hand, we got showstoppers from some of our international favourites. Since we were celebrating the #EnergyOfAsia, the theme of Asian friendships was visible when we enjoyed delightful appearances from the Korean boy band Super Junior, Indian singer Siddharth Slathia alongside Denada, and another Korean boy band IKON. While the opening ceremony emphasised Indonesian culture, the closing ceremony handed over the floor to other Asian countries.
If you haven’t noticed yet, we probably have the world’s most caring president. President Joko Widodo wasn’t able to attend the closing ceremony as he flew down to Lombok to visit earthquake survivors in West Nusa Tenggara. Instead, President Jokowi watched the closing ceremony with the people of Lombok on TV. He shared a heartwarming message through a video that was then played at the closing ceremony. Nothing but love for our dear Mr President.
Mr Vice President
Elsewhere, Vice President Jusuf Kalla took up the honour of addressing the closing ceremony. Kalla gave a friendly and warm speech and mentioned that the 18th Asian Games was one of the best in history. He also mentioned this in context of infrastructure, match timings that went smoothly without any delays, the smooth commencement of all the matches, and all the medals and achievements of the athletes.
We take pride in knowing how well Indonesian athletes performed this year. Their hard work, determination, enthusiasm, and zest were clear from the moment they started playing. During the 2014 Asian Games, Indonesia ranked number 17 and this year they improved to an unbelievable level and stand mighty at number four. Indonesia won a total of 31 gold medals. Salute!
If you haven’t heard yet, the 19th Asian Games will take place in Hangzhou, which is the third Chinese city to host the Asian Games after Beijing and Guangzhou. The closing ceremony was then followed by performers from Hangzhou who put on a spectacular performance. This ended with the country’s representative, Jack Ma’s Alibaba, himself from the city of Hangzhou, who waved the Olympic Council of Asia Flag, which was handed over by Indonesia.
Go big or go home
The whole of Indonesia seemed to cheer with excitement during the 18th Asian Games. With enthusiastic athletes and supporters throughout the Games, the fever pitch was definitely a moment to remember. Due to the immense success and favourable outcome of the 18th Asian Games, Indonesia has volunteered to host the 2032 Olympics. Go big or go home, right?