President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called the upcoming Asian Games (Asiad) a “golden opportunity” for Indonesia to “amaze the world” in his state-of-the-nation speech before the House of Representatives on Thursday.
“After a 56-year wait, this is the second time Indonesia will host the Asian Games, followed by the Asian Para Games,” he said. “In those two events, Indonesia’s sons and daughters will fight to fly the red-and-white flag, compete to sing ‘Indonesia Raya’, and contend to make Indonesia proud.”
The President added that the country was ready to welcome 11,000 athletes and 5,500 officials for the multisport event.
“I ask all Indonesians to work together to ensure the success of the Asian Games and Asian Para Games so that we can succeed as host and succeed in [our athletic] performance,” he said.
The Asiad will start on Saturday and take place in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra. The event is set to wrap up on Sept. 2.
The Games were in the spotlight during Thursday’s event, with both People’s Consultative Assembly Speaker Zulkifli Hasan and House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo mentioning the event in their speeches.
The Gita Bahana Nusantara orchestra even performed the 2018 Asian Games theme song, “Meraih Bintang” (Reach the Stars), in the plenary hall during a break in proceedings.
“Let us prove that Indonesia is ready to [lift] Asia’s position in the world,” Jokowi said in his closing remarks.