17th Asian Games: Incheon 2014
The Asian Games, held every four years, are recognized as the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. The first Games (originally Far Eastern Games) were held in Philippines in 1913.
While the Games have been hit by several crises – including national security, financial, political, and war – they have been continuing strong. There are 45 members affiliated with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the organizing party of the Games since the 1982 Games. Nine nations have hosted the Asian Games including India, Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Iran, South Korea, China, and Qatar. Historically, 44 sports have been presented in the Games.
This year’s 2014 Games were held in Incheon, South Korea, for 16 days from September 19 to October 4. About 13,000 athletes and officials participated in 36 total sports. Overall, 14 world records were broken (in archery, shooting and weightlifting) and 1,454 total medals were earned (439 Gold medals). China placed first with 343 medals (including 151 Gold medals), South Korea second with 79 Gold medals, and Japan third with 47 Gold medals. North Korea also did well in the Games with 11 Gold medals; its weightlifters breaking four world records. The sport shown above is Sepaktakraw and is quite similar to South Korea’s 족구 (Jokgu, a sport combining aspects of volleyball and soccer), which could be a strong factor why South Korea made it to the Gold Medal Match against Thailand. Alongside the Asian Games were other events that Incheon hosted to support the Games, including Asian Food Festival. “I can announce the success of the 17th Asian Games,” OCA chief Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah told a news conference. “With all the good memories with tears and smiles, this was the concert of the ideals of the games.”
The 2018 Asian Games will be hosted by Indonesia in capital city Jakarta. The last time Indonesia hosted the Games was in 1962 Asian Games.