Hangzhou AG closes 16-day heat war…see you in Aichi and Nagoya in 2026

The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, held across six cities in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, concluded on Monday after 16 days of intense competition.

The closing ceremony lasted 85 minutes, starting at 9 p.m. (local time) at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium, the main venue of the Games, with Chinese Premier Li Chang, the country’s No. 2 in the power hierarchy, and other guests in attendance.

The closing ceremony opened with a beautiful scene of colorful lotus flowers in full bloom using augmented reality technology around the Olympic Sports Center Stadium, nicknamed the “Big Lotus,” against the backdrop of the golden and colorful night view of Hangzhou city.

Under the banner of ‘Asia’, 12,000 athletes from 45 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), reunited for the first time in five years since the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, entered the stadium after the performance of ‘Flowers of Remembrance’, which reflected on the past 16 days as they enjoyed the largest sports festival in the world as a place of friendship and unity.

Korea’s “Legendary B-Boy” Kim Hong-yeol (Hong10), the silver medalist in men’s breaking at the Games, entered the stadium waving the Korean flag. He was followed by breaking, karate, and water polo athletes who will return home on Sept. 9.

North Korea’s 81-kilogram weightlifting winner Ri Chong Song raised the artificial flag as the flag bearer.

The athletes, dressed in their colorful uniforms, took pictures of each country on the field, held hands and formed a circle to bid farewell.

The Hangzhou Asian Games, held five years after the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Games, which were postponed for a year due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, have created a buzz in Hangzhou, which is the cradle of China’s information technology (IT) industry with a green, digital and smart motto.

The third Asian Games to be hosted by China after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010, the Summer Games were hailed as a success, especially for their hassle-free operation and officiating.

For the closing ceremony, the Hangzhou Organizing Committee used a “digital lawn” of nearly 40,000 evenly woven fluorescent materials on the floor of the Olympic Sports Center stadium as a giant palette, appropriately capturing the tonal splendor of the Games.

The Hangzhou Organizing Committee handed over the Asian Olympic Council (OCA) flag and torch to the Aichi and Nagoya Organizing Committees in Japan, which will host the 20th Asian Games in 2026, with a promotional performance that showcased local culture and welcomed the incoming organizing committee to visit in three years.

Aichi and Nagoya are the third Japanese prefectures to host the Summer Asian Games, following Tokyo in 1958 and Hiroshima in 1994.

Hangzhou Asian Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies General Director Sashaoran delivered a moving closing ceremony with love and respect, applauding the athletes for pursuing their dreams and gracing the Games with their spectacular performances, and thanking all the volunteers for their dedication to making the Games a success.

As the support staff bade farewell with a call to remember Hangzhou forever, the much-talked-about “digital giant” reappeared as the co-lighters of the Opening Ceremony torch alongside China’s handsome swimmer Wang Shun.

The Hangzhou Asian Games came to a close as the ‘Digital Giant’ watched the flame go out alongside athletes and volunteers from 45 NOCs before disappearing over the stadium with a heart above his head and a big wave. 스포츠토토

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