The 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang officially ended on Sunday.
The two-week multisport event fostered excitement and pride among Indonesians. The quadrennial event, the world’s second largest sports fiesta after the Olympics, has created conversations on social media, while the public have had the opportunity to meet the continent’s best athletes.
Although the Games saw chaos in ticketing, mostly due to middle-men and management that lacked transparency, many events were sold out, even for less popular sports. The 2018 edition also delivered a bigger message: peace among leaders. The great event needed hard work, and a leader should not do it all alone.
While the nation’s leader and top officials at the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee had their moments in the VVIP seats, thousands of workers and volunteers worked day and night for the Games to be a success. More than 13,000 volunteers were deployed in various areas, from medical to doping, media and public relations, catering, transportation, ticketing, cleaning, ceremonies and venues.
In the meantime, 36,000 police and military personnel safeguarded crucial spots to ensure the Games was secure for all. As the curtains rolled down, the Games leaves us with nothing but memories and extravagant venues. Indonesia must think hard about how to maintain and utilize the venues, while preparing its athletes to excel in future events.