Cambodia once again impressed tens of thousands of spectators, who packed Morodok Techo National Stadium for the official opening ceremony of the 12th ASEAN Para Games.
Following on from the Kingdom’s successful inaugural hosting of the Southeast Asian Games last month, Cambodia once again pulled off a jaw-dropping opening ceremony that embodied the true inclusive spirit of sport.
The stadium on the outskirts of Phnom Penh filled hours ahead of the official opening, with singers entertaining the crowds under a threatening sky. In spite of heavy claps of thunder and showers of rain, the Opening Ceremony kicked off uninterrupted.
Once again, the skies above the stadium were lit up with a spectacular firework display that triggered a ripple of delight from the audience, who cheered on their respective nations as they paraded the stadium.
Speaking on behalf of the host nation of the 12th ASEAN Para Games from June 3 to 9, Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, said during his speech at the opening ceremony, “We must unite to promote the rights of people with disabilities, and support our athletes.
The stadium’s crowd went wild as each competing country’s team of athletes paraded the central court. This was followed by a spectacle of Khmer culture in the form of a lengthy performance that celebrated ancient arts.
After the lighting of the cauldron, the official opening ceremony ended with another impressive display of fireworks, marking the start of the event that will see more than 1,400 athletes from the 11 ASEAN countries compete for medals in a raft of sports until June 9.
These include boccia, blind football, chess, CP football, athletics, badminton, judo, swimming, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, table tennis and wheelchair basketball.
Esports will also be included as a demonstration sport for the first time in the Games' history.