Solo, Indonesia – The sixth ASEAN Para Games was officially opened by Indonesian Vice President Boediono at a wonderfully executed ceremony at the Manahan Stadium in Solo, Indonesia last night.
The first-time hosts of this competition did themselves proud with a spectacular show, filled with coloured lights and decorations, infused with elements depicting their cultures and traditions through dance and music. The cauldron was lit by three Indonesian Para-Athletes; swimmer Daniel Carlos and para-climbers Sabar Gorky and Memet Lesmana. Daniel had arrived onto the running track via a royal carriage accompanied by royal soldiers, while Sabar para-glided onto the field, before climbing a rock wall and passing the torch to Memet, who made his way up the steps to light the fire.
Spectators and athletes were also treated to a magnificent display of fireworks on several occasions; with the best coming at the moment the Games were declared open by the Guest-of-Honour, Mr Boediono.
Team Singapore, led by Para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, was given a roaring welcome from the near-full stadium. Some Singapore athletes were not present at the ceremony as they were scheduled for events early this morning. Despite the slight drizzle throughout the two-hour show, those who were present at the stadium certainly left satisfied with what was on display. “The ceremony was excellent, despite the fact, that the rain was threatening. Otherwise everything went really well.
The organizers have done a very good job and i am sure the participants must have enjoyed it,” said Mr Alukkathara Purushothaman, Assistant Chef De Mission for Team Singapore. Singapore Para-swimmer Emma Dione Schick, who is making her games debut was really impressed with the fireworks display. “There was much effort put into the opening ceremony and we really appreciate it. My favourite part was definitely the fireworks and I am sure it is also everyone’s favourite part, well done to them,” said Emma. The ASEAN Para Games will end on 22 December.