Kathmandu: The inaugural ceremony for the 13th South Asian Games began at Dasharath Stadium with a lively and colorful opening yesterday.
President Vidya Devi Bhandari announced that the games would be open at that three-hour-long event showcasing the culture and diversity of Nepal as well as the Armed Police Force’s laser show and mass calisthenics.
The inaugural ceremony began with a national anthem along with the march-past of athletes and officials from seven participating nations. Olympian weightlifter, Mr. Kamal Bahadur Adhikari took the flag of Nepal in March-past under the leadership of Chef-deMission, Mr. Pitambar Timalsina.
Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Ishwor Pokharel, Chairman of the Chief Organizing Committee and Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Jagat Bahadur Sunar, South Asian Olympic Council Chairman and Nepal Olympic Committee, Mr Jeevan Ram Shrestha and Member Secretary of the National Sports Council and Chairman of SAG Executive Committee, Mr. Ramesh Kumar Silwal addressed the meeting. The gathering in front of President Bhandari inaugurated the SA Games with a huge clap.
Olympian Baikunth Manandhar, Rajendra Bhandari, Nayana Shakya, Umesh Maskey and Debu Thapa, four-time South Asian Games gold medalist Taekwondo player Deepak Bista, carried an Olympic Torch around the stadium. The flashlight was brought to Kathmandu this morning after a visit to the seven provinces.
After the South Asian Olympic Council flag was hoisted, former captain of the national cricket team Paras Khadka and international badminton referee swore on behalf of the athletes and judges respectively.
In an exciting event, the names and flags of all participating nations, along with 26 sports disciplines included in the meeting, were showcased in mid-air using laser lights, while the artist demonstrated the culture of the seven provinces. Singers Kunti Moktan, Ananda Karki, Satya Raj Acharya, Indira Joshi, and Milan Newar sang the SAG theme song-“Dakshin Aakash Ughari Herdai Chhan.” Nepali Army, APF and Nepal Police bands sing Nepal’s human flag and national anthem.
The APF workers then presented the names and maps of the participating nations, presenting the mass calisthenics. The ceremony ended with a huge firework display in the sky above the stadium with a 5-minute musical program led by singer Deepak Bajracharya.
Nepal hosting the Regional Sports Extravaganza from December 1-10 in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Janakpur. The regional meet started in Nepal under the banner of South Asian Federation Games in 1984 and it returned in 1999.
2,715 athletes, more than 5,000 delegates featuring 26 sports discipline took part in the regional meet, amidst the Dashrath Stadium yesterday. Nepal is fielding the highest number of athletes — 596 — in all 26 sports disciplines.
The event was such an amazing artwork with the beautiful execution of the Nepali culture and Tradition.