It’s not every day – in fact, it takes more than 50 years for Indonesia to host the second biggest sport event in the world for the second time. This city may not be the most ideal host – have you seen the congestion?! I specifically told my friends abroad who want to come to Indonesia not to go to Jakarta. Amidst all the doubts and skepticisms, Jakarta prepped up against all odds including one that not everyone was happy about (odd-even license plate) and one everyone was definitely embarrassed about (Kali Item cover-up).
As an avid sportswoman, I wouldn’t want to miss watching Asian Games for the world! I therefore wanted to choose a sport that I’m interested in and never watched before, so the choices were equestrian, gymnastics and synchronised swimming. Unfortunately, equestrian’s venue was pretty far (not as far as it is crazy congested) and I ran out of gymnastics ticket, so synchronised swimming it is!
The swimming venue was completely redesigned, it is huge and beautiful! It has 4 pools, for diving, water polo, main pool (where athletic and synchronised swimming took place) and warming up pool. If it were open to public after the Games, I wouldn’t mind doing some laps! The ceiling is my most favourite element, as it depicts the very sport it houses ; waves of water.
Now, let’s talk about synchronised swimming. If you’ve never seen synchronised swimming, think of it as gymnastics, cheerleading, and performance arts… in the water! It was super intense, it requires LOADS of teamwork and trust to really synchronise the moves. I was all ooh-aah-ing over each performance, clapping and cheering on every team. In short, I really enjoyed all the performances! Team China won the gold, with team Japan and team DPR Korea winning silver and bronze respectively.
The games aside, I thought the GBK venue was quite clean (for Jakarta standard, hey!) and the crowd was pleasant. Though as I said on the video that there were adequate public shuttle to and fro the venue, traffic remained a problem especially in the late afternoon. Here comes Michelle the Pedestrian!
I hope the Games will bring a long-term effect to Indonesia’s sport industry, from the public interest (especially to the younger crowd!) to government support across many sports. Sport is and has always been a channel for a country to put a united front (well, obviously not talking about football club allegiance, but you know what I mean!) and these two expensive, impressive weeks proved just that. Let the energy lives on!
Until next time,