September 18, 2023
HANGZHOU – The 19th Asian Games Village officially opened Saturday morning, welcoming the first group of Chinese sports delegation to Hangzhou, the capital of East China’s Zhejiang province.
“We are standing here together in a truly magnificent Asian Games Village,” said Vinod Kumar Tiwari, acting director general of the Olympic Council of Asia, at the opening ceremony.
“I regard the Asian Games Village as Olympic-standard and even more so,” he said.
He has been visiting Hangzhou for the last eight years, and has always been impressed by the plans and preparations made for the 19th Asian Games, especially the Asian Games Village.
Made up of the Athletes’ Village, the Technical Officials’ Village and the Media Village, the Asian Games Village will be welcoming more than 20,000 people, providing accommodation, catering, transportation, cultural, technological, medical and commercial services, among others, for the residents.
Such an innovative concept and arrangement is the first of its kind in the Asian Games as well as in Olympic Games history, according to Vinod Kumar Tiwari.
“It highlights the unity and solidarity of the Olympic movement in Asia,” he said.
China is sending 886 athletes to the Asian Games, which will open in a week’s time. During the Games, the Chinese athletes, 437 women and 449 men, will compete in 407 events of 38 disciplines.
Chen Yufei, Olympic badminton champion, said she looks forward to staying in the Asian Games Village.
“Competing on home turf will be very exciting for me,” said Chen, who is a Hangzhou native. “It will bring pressure, but it will serve as motivation.”
“My goal is to see the national flag raised and the national anthem played on the athletics field,” said Zhu Yaming, men’s Olympic triple jump medalist, who is aiming for a gold in the upcoming competitions.
Apart from the Asian Games Village in Hangzhou, five sub-villages in Ningbo city, Wenzhou city, Jinhua city, Tonglu county and Chun’an county also opened on the same day.
Over 12,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries and regions will participate in the 19th Asian Games, the largest ever in the event’s history.