Date : 02 Mar 2019
Bangkok, Thailand, March 2, 2019: The Olympic Council of Asia’s 38th General Assembly opened in Bangkok on Saturday night with a mixture of official protocol, awards, presentations and traditional music and dance and Thai cuisine.
The OCA President, HE Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, welcomed the delegates to the Arnoma Hotel in the presence of Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sport, Mr Weerasak Kowsurat, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Thailand National Olympic Committee President, Gen. Prawit Wongsuwang. Also in attendance was the IOC Member for Thailand, Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, and other VIP guests.
Sheikh Ahmad praised the role of Bangkok and Thailand in the development of the Olympic movement in Asia and said all sports leaders appreciated the hosting and organisational capability of the Kingdom.
“I started my sport education here in 1977, as a shooter because the Asian Games were going to take place in Bangkok in 1978,” he said.
“This city has held four Asian Games as well as the Asian Indoor Games, Asian Martial Arts Games and also the Asian Beach Games in Phuket, and we are always happy to come back to this beautiful city.”
Sheikh Ahmad praised the organisers for providing “the best environment” for the General Assembly, which will resume on Sunday at the Intercontinental Hotel.
“All this cannot happen without your solidarity, coordination and cooperation,” he told the delegates.
*After the official speeches, the OCA showed a short video of the history of the Asian Games, which dates back to the First Far Eastern Championship Games in 1913 in Manila before the first Asian Games took place in 1951 in New Delhi. With the next two Asian Games host cities already decided through to 2026, this gives the movement a history of 113 years.
*The OCA Award of Merit was presented to three people who have contributed much to the sports movement in Asia: former OCA Information and Statistics Committee Chairman Bahram Afsharzadeh (Iran NOC), Jean Hammam, President of Lebanon Olympic Committee, and Erick Thohir, President of Indonesia NOC and Chairman of the 18th Asian Games organising committee INASGOC.
*The Sheikh Fahad Hiroshima Asia Sports Fund award was presented to the former Mayor of Hiroshima at the 1994 Asian Games, Takashi Hiraoka. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the OCA’s 12th Asian Games in the Japanese city. Mr Hiraoka was the Mayor from 1991 to 1999.
*Eris Herryanto, who was Secretary General of the 18th Asian Games organising committee INASGOC, reviewed the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang which involved 17,000 athletes and team officials from 45 National Olympic Committees, 11,000 media and 13,000 volunteers. He reported that the Games had attracted 1.7 million domestic visitors and 79,000 international tourists.
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