OCA to celebrate 110-year anniversary of multi-sport games at Hangzhou

OCA to celebrate 110-year anniversary of multi-sport games at Hangzhou

Hangzhou, China, March 16, 2023: The Olympic Council of Asia will hold a special celebration during the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China this September to mark 110 years since the birth of the Asian Games.

Although the first Asian Games took place in New Delhi in 1951, the roots go back much further – to the Far Eastern Championship Games in Manila in 1913. This was the first official international multi-sport games to be held in Asia, and the OCA will celebrate this 110-year anniversary with a cultural festival involving music and dance from the five zones of the continent.

“This will really add value to the Asian Games in Hangzhou and the world; it will be a celebration of sport and culture,” the OCA’s Director General, Husain Al Musallam, said at the 5th OCA Coordination Committee meeting for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou on Thursday, March 16. “Despite war and covid, still Asia is strong.”

The 110-year celebration is set for September 24 – the day after the opening ceremony – and will replace the OCA General Assembly, which will not be held in Hangzhou.

It will show the history of the Asian Games from the Far Eastern Championship Games Manila 1913 right through to the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia in 2018.

Asian Games hosts Hangzhou will also have the opportunity to display their music and culture, as will the hosts of the 20th Asian Games in 2026, Aichi-Nagoya. 

The history of ancient musical instruments will also be documented in the festival, which will be attended by 300 guests.

Mr Al Musallam promised a “dynamic, fast” programme to celebrate the rich cultural and sporting heritage of Asia to the world.

The OCA, through its Culture Committee, was planning a series of cultural events during the 19th Asian Games but had to re-think the concept due to the pandemic and the one-year postponement of the Games from September 10-25, 2022 to September 23 to October 8, 2023.