First held in 1951, the 2022 Asian Games will be the 19th edition of the tournament.
Three days from now, the Asian Games 2022 will begin in Hangzhou. In case you are wondering why we have written 2022 instead of 2023, well, the tournament was to be held last year but was pushed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the name remains unchanged.
Given that the Asian Games are one of the grandest platforms for Indian athletes and that they comprise almost every sport, ranging from cricket and football to javelin throwing, they are widely followed in India. Therefore, for the home fans and the rest of the enthusiasts, we have compiled some lesser-known facts about the tourney.
Much may not be aware that despite attaining independence in 1947, India became the founding member of the Federation for the Asian Games in 1949—quite an impressive feat for the then-new nation. Two years later, in 1951, India became the first country to host the Asian Games, winning 51 medals. The country also ranked second in the medal tally, winning 15 gold, 16 silver, and 20 bronze medals.
The Asian Games’ logo changes with every edition. However, in all the logos, you will find one thing in common: the image of the Rising Sun.
This logo is the official logo of the Asian Games, which was designed by K.K. Hebbar, an Indian artist, in 1951. The interlocking rings symbolise the unity that Asian countries share and also promise a new day with a better future.
The Rising Sun has been incorporated into the banner logos of all the editions of the Asian Games.
Once upon a time, Israel was a regular member of the Asian Games. The nation first participated in 1954 and stayed with the games until 1974. However, as we are aware, politics has always been part of every sport. Therefore, when the Arab League’s boycott took place, Israel was banished from the games by the Federation, which in 1981 officially became the Olympic Council of Asia.
Thailand’s Bangkok has hosted the most Asian Games in the event’s history. The city hosted the event in 1966, 1970, 1978, and 1998. The country first held the Asian Games in 1966, and gradually, it became a sporting powerhouse in Asia. In the 1998 event, Bangkok attracted as many as 10,000 athletes from 42 nations.
In the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta, esports were demonstrated. This year, esports will officially make its debut at the Asian Games. From India, a team of eighteen members will participate in various esports such as FIFA 22, DOTA 2, Street Fighter V, Hearthstone, and League of Legends.
Whether cricket should be a part of the Asian Games or not has always been a debate. And therefore, the sport is not frequent at the event. Fortunately, this year, cricket once again makes a return after nine years, having made an appearance in 2014 and 2010.
Some unique sports, such as Dragon Boat and Roller, will also return to the Asian Games in 2023.
Last but not least, the Asian Games have been boycotted on three occasions. Apart from the Arab League’s boycott, the non-inclusion of Taiwan in 1978 resulted in a boycott, followed by the boycott of 1994 when North Korea decided not to take part because of the Korean conflict.