© Children of AsiaCouncil News
Date : 17 Feb 2019
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russian Federation, February 16, 2019: The curtain came down at the 1st Children of Asia Winter Games with chief organiser Dmitry Glushko hinting that the next edition, in 2021, could also be held in Sakhalin.
As fireworks soared into the evening sky at a colourful Closing Ceremony on Saturday, top-ranking officials were already looking ahead to hosting the next edition in Sakhalin provided the Olympic Council of Asia gave the green light.
“We will be talking to the OCA President, Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, at the OCA General Assembly in Bangkok in March to discuss the feasibility of Sakhalin staging the next edition in 2021,” revealed Glushko, President of the International Committee of the Children of Asia Winter Games.
“We have proved that we can hold a multi-sport international event successfully. These last few days has been a celebration and brought together children from all over Asia. We have the facilities in place already and it would be best if we held the next Games here in two years’ time.
“But we need to talk about this with the OCA, who have given us tremendous support. Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah has been one of our biggest supporters and has been one of the key people involved in initiating this idea of a Winter Games for the children of Asia.
“If we get it, I promise the next Games will be three times as bigger and better than this one,” Glushko added.
Not that the February 9-16 showcase was average. There was plenty of drama, even among athletes just beginning their career. Take the dramatic last-gasp come-from-behind win by the Kazakhstan boys’ team over outright favourites South Korea in short track skating or the serene figure of Korean figure skater You Young, dubbed as the next Queen Yuna, as she imperiously dominated the ice to win her country’s only gold medal outside short track, where Korea won seven.
“One of my most abiding memories of these Games will be the passion shown by the children. There was a lot of tears and heartache which proved how important these Games were. Children always react instinctively. Their reactions are honest and open and throughout these Games it was more than just about winning,”
Glushko pointed out.
The Ural Federal District, one of nine Russian Federal Districts and Regions competing alongside the 19 overseas teams, finished top of the medal standings with 10 golds, five silvers and nine bronze medals. Among their gold medals was the plum prize in ice hockey, defeating the Siberian Federal District 5-0 in the final. Moscow finished a close second in the medal standings with nine golds.
South Korea was the best performing country from Asia, finishing with eight gold medals. Japan won one gold. For the rest of Asia, from Afghanistan to the United Arab Emirates, these Games were more about a learning experience.
Several thousand spectators bid farewell to the athletes at the closing ceremony at Spartak Stadium. Two-time Olympic champion and ice hockey legend Vyacheslav Fetisov, chief guest at the ceremony, thanked Sakhalin for “creating a new sports tradition in Russia”.
A tradition which organisers hope will continue in 2021 in Sakhalin.
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