17th September 2023 – (Hangzhou) An official from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has expressed confidence in the upcoming Asian Games, which will be hosted by Hangzhou. Zhou Jian, the director of the OCA’s Media and Broadcast Department, shared his thoughts in an interview with Xinhua News Agency, just days before the opening ceremony.
Zhou commended the preparations done by the organizers, stating that the competition schedule, venue preparations, and the setup of hardware and software facilities have been executed perfectly. He expressed optimism about the readiness of the Hangzhou Asian Games, stating that it could commence at any moment. Interestingly, Zhou chose not to view the opening ceremony rehearsal, preferring to save his emotions for the actual day. However, he mentioned that his colleagues who did witness the rehearsal were deeply moved.
Zhou also expressed his anticipation for the unique elements that Hangzhou will bring to this edition of the Asian Games. He mentioned the ethos of the Games, which emphasizes being green, smart, economical, and ethical. Zhou particularly highlighted the “Smart” concept and praised the Asian Games’ official cellphone App, called Go Hangzhou. He showcased the app on his own cellphone, emphasizing its usefulness and the positive feedback it has received from stakeholders.
The Olympic Council of Asia official appreciated the high-tech element in the Hangzhou Asian Games’ slogan, and the organization fully supports it. The Games will introduce several new disciplines, including Esports, and will see a record participation of 12,527 athletes. Zhou Jian emphasized the OCA’s openness to emerging sports trends and its aim to foster balance and growth in Asian sports. He mentioned the inclusion of skateboarding as a discipline in the Jakarta 2019 Asian Games, even before its debut in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Zhou also highlighted the inclusivity of the Asian Games, providing opportunities for athletes who may not make it to the Olympic stage. He used swimmers as an example, stating that while only a few can enter the Olympics, the Asian Games offer a chance for athletes from countries or regions with relatively low economic and sports development.