2018 Asian Games

XVIII Asian Games

Official emblem of the 2018 Asian Games
Host city Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia[1]
Motto The Energy of Asia[2] (Indonesian: Energi Asia)
Opening ceremony August 18[3]
Closing ceremony September 2
Main venue Gelora Bung Karno Stadium[4]
Website Official website
<  2014 2022  >

The 2018 Asian Games (Indonesian: Pesta Olahraga Musim Panas Asia 2018), officially known as the XVIII Asiad, will be the 18th edition of a regional multi-sport event in Asia. It is to be hosted by Indonesia and is scheduled to take place from August 18 – September 2, 2018. Forty one sports and disciplines will be featured in the Games.[5] This will be the second time that Jakarta has hosted the Asian Games, the first being the 1962 Asian Games. For the first time in the Asian Games history, two cities will host the Games: Jakarta, the national capital city, and Palembang, the capital city of its South Sumatra province.[6] Bandung and three provinces that surround Jakarta and Palembang, Banten, West Java, and Lampung also plan to support the Games with their existing sporting venues.[7] Indonesia was approved as the host of the Games by Olympic Council of Asia executive board on September 19, 2014.[8] They will host the Games in 2018 rather than the originally planned 2019 to avoid conflict with the Indonesian presidential election.[9]

Originally Hanoi, Vietnam was chosen as the host.[10] However, that city ultimately withdrew due to financial considerations.[11]

Bidding and development


The bidding process to host the 2018 Asian Games was not without controversy. Hanoi was originally selected to be the host after they won the bid against two other candidates, Surabaya and Dubai. They were awarded the winning bid on November 8, 2012, with 29 votes against Surabaya's 14 votes.[12] Dubai pulled out at the last minute, instead announcing their intention to focus on future bids. The UAE's National Olympic Committee's vice-president denied any pullout and claimed that Dubai "did not apply for hosting 2019 Asian Games" and had "only considered" doing so.[13][14] The Indonesian delegation claimed that Hanoi's victory was influenced by China's huge interest in the country.

However, in March 2014, there were some concerns about Vietnam's ability to host. These included concerns over whether the anticipated budget of US$150 million was realistic. There were claims that the government would eventually spend over US$300 million. In addition, critics were concerned that several stadiums built in conjunction with 2003 Southeast Asian Games had not been utilized since.[15] Former chairman of the Vietnam Olympic Committee Ha Quang Du also claimed that hosting the Asian Games would not boost tourism in Vietnam.[16]

On April 17, 2014, the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung officially announced Hanoi's withdrawal from hosting. He cited unpreparedness and economic recession as the main reasons for the withdrawal, saying they ha left the country unable to afford the construction of facilities and venues.[11] Many Vietnamese people supported the decision to withdraw.[17] No penalty was imposed for the withdrawal.[18]

Appointment of Jakarta and Palembang

After Hanoi's withdrawal, the OCA said that Indonesia, China and the United Arab Emirates were major candidates under consideration to host.[19] Indonesia was widely regarded as a favourite, since Surabaya was the runner-up of the previous bid,[20] and willing to do so if selected.[21] The Philippines[22] and India expressed their interest about hosting the Games, but India failed to submit a late bid because it was unable to get an audience with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after being given an extended deadline by the OCA.[23]

On May 5, 2014, the OCA visited some Indonesian cities including Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, and Palembang. At this time Surabaya decided to drop their bid to host the Games and instead focus on hosting the already scheduled 2021 Asian Youth Games.[24] On 25 July 2014, during a meeting in Kuwait City, the OCA appointed Jakarta as the host of the Games with Palembang as the supporting host. Jakarta was chosen because of its well-equipped sport facilities, adequate transportation networks, and other facilities such as hotels and lodgings for guests. The Games were rescheduled from 2019 to 2018, because of the 2019 Indonesian presidential election.[25] On September 20, 2014, Indonesia signed the host city contract,[26] and during the closing ceremony of 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Indonesia was appointed symbolically by the OCA to host the next Games.[27]



Games' Mascot. Named from left to right: Bhin Bhin, Ika, and Atung.

The initial logo was unveiled on September 9, 2015, on the country's National Sports Day. The logo depicts a cenderawasih, a rare species of a bird in Indonesia. This symbolises high hopes for the country’s sports at the quadrennial event.[28] Drawa, a bird-of-paradise, was unveiled as the initial mascot on 28 December 2015. However, after massive criticism over its old-fashioned and unattractive design,[29] the organizers abandoned the mascot and logo and ordered the Creative Economy Board (Badan Ekonomi Kreatif) to revise the design.

On 28 July 2016, a revised logo and new mascots were unveiled by Creative Economy Board (Badan Ekonomi Kreatif), the Indonesian Olympic Committee, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Indonesia (Kementerian Pemuda dan Olahraga). The new logo is based on the roof design of the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium that was built for 1962 Asian Games Jakarta, with eight paths leading to the stadium and the Olympic Council of Asia's shining sun emblem in the centre, reflecting the Energy of Asia that shines throughout Asia and the world.[30]

The new mascots reflect Indonesia's diversity with three animals, each from different regions in Indonesia. Bhin Bhin represents the Cendrawasih bird of paradise, wearing a vest with Asmat traditional motifs from the Papua, Eastern Indonesia Region, which symbolize strategy. Atung represents the Bawean Deer, wearing a batik parang sarong from Central Indonesian Region, which symbolizes speed and a "Never give up fighting" spirit. Ika represent single horned Javan rhinoceros, wearing a flower motif from Palembang's Songket scraf that represents Western Indonesia Region, which symbolize power.[31] Together, the combined symbols of their names (Bhin Bhin — Atung — Ika) spell out Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), the national motto of Indonesia.[30]


For the games, some venues will be built, renovated, and prepared across five provinces in Indonesia: Jakarta, South Sumatra, Banten, West Java, and Lampung. On 7 January 2015, it was announced that the athletes' village and aquatics center would be build in Kemayoran.[32] A media centre will also be built in the subdistrict that will serve together with Jakarta Convention Center.[33] The organisation hopes to keep the cost down by using the existing sports facilities and infrastructure, including those venues built for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.[34] South Sumatra's provincial government claim that they are ready to hoar at least 18 sport disciplines with their existing Jakabaring Sport City complex. They will renovate some of rhw facilities in the complex, including a capacity upgrade of Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium from 36,000 to 60,000 seats. They will also lengthen the Jakabaring Lake to 2,300 meters.[35]


As part of the Games preparation, the construction of the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit will be accelerated.[36] Palembang will also upgrade their transportation facilities by building 25 kilometres of monorail track from Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport to Jakabaring Sport City.[37] Other transportation facilities such as underpasses, flyovers, and bridges will be also built in the city.[38] Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport will expand the existing arrival and departure terminals, and also build a skybridge with a light rail transit (LRT) terminal that can take passengers to Jakabaring.[39]


The government has allocated a budget of IDR 3 trillion to prepare for the Games, with regional administrations also expected to supply some part of the funding.[34]



The OCA determined that Jakarta would host both the opening and closing ceremonies,[40] although an earlier sports minister said Palembang would host the closing ceremony.[41]


The 2018 Asian Games will feature 33 Olympic sports, including some additional sports as a test event for the 2020 Summer Olympics Tokyo, and also 8 non-Olympic sports.[42] For the first time, Pencak Silat and bridge will feature in the Games.[33][43]

* (not confirmed yet)

Concerns and controversies

Some concerns have been raised during the preparation for the Games, including: the number of sports played between Jakarta and Palembang, the location of the opening and closing ceremonies, the progress of the venues and athlete's village construction, the logo and mascot choice for the Games, and the possibility of hosting the Games without football since Indonesia is suspended by FIFA.

Muddai Madang, vice president of the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI), said that he feared the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) could cancel Indonesia’s role as a host country in the Asian Games. He also criticized the Jakarta administration for not having started the tender process for cooperation contracts.[45]

On December 28, 2015, the Governor of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama made a statement that he preferred Palembang as the sole host of the Games. He stated that if the OCA had not decided that Palembang is not suited to host the Games without Jakarta, he would let Palembang be the sole host of the Games.[46]

See also


  1. Odi Aria Saputra (10 April 2015). "Keppres Asian Games Turun Pertengahan April" (in Indonesian). Sriwijaya Post. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  2. Prasetya, Muhammad Hary (12 February 2016). "Tema Asian Games 2018, The Energy of Asia, Ini Artinya". Superball.id. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  3. "18-8-18 start planned for 18th Asian Games". Olympic Council of Asia. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  4. Ade Irma Junida (2 October 2014). "GBK akan direnovasi demi Asian Games 2018" (in Indonesian). Antara. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  5. "Skateboarding added to 2018 Asian Games programme after late agreement reached". Inside The Games. 25 September 2016.
  6. DP, Yashinta (16 September 2015). "Pembukaan dan Penutupan Asian Games 2018 diadakan di Jakarta". Antara News. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  7. Putri Utami (20 March 2014). "Menpora Janji Arena Asian Games 2018 Siap Tahun Ini" (in Indonesian). Okezone. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  8. "Asian Games: Indonesia to host Asiad in 2018, says OCA chief". Channel News Asia. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  9. Davies, Will (20 September 2014). "Indonesia to Host 2018 Asian Games". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  10. "Hanoi wins race to host 2019 Asian Games". The Star. 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  11. 1 2 "Vietnam backs out as hosts of 2019 Asian Games". Reuters. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  12. Adamrah, Mustaqim (2012-11-09). "RI loses Asian Games bid to Vietnam". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  13. Sambidge, Andy (2012-11-09). "UAE denies Asian Games 2019 vote pull-out". Arabian Business. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
  14. Tam, Aaron (2012-11-09). "Hanoi wins race to host 2019 Asian Games: officials". AFP. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  15. "Vietnam lawmakers concerned by mounting cost of Asian Games". Thanh Nien News. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  16. "Vietnam PM could pull plug on Asian Games". Thanh Nien News. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  17. "Vietnamese hail PM's decision to relinquish 2019 Asiad". Tuoi Tre. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  18. "Asian Games: No penalty for Vietnam pullout, says OCA". Channel News Asia. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  19. Thongsombat, Kittipong (30 April 2014). "Trio vying to host 2019 Asian Games". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  20. "Indonesia favorite to take on 2019 Asiad". Shanghai Daily. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  21. "Indonesia 'proud' to host 2019 Asiad if selected". The Times of India. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  22. Alinea, Eddie (31 August 2014). "POC bids to host next Asian Games". Manila Standard Today. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  23. Ganguly, Sudipto (7 July 2014). "India drops plans for late 2019 Asian Games bid". Reuters India. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  24. "Kesiapan Indonesia Sebagai Calon Tuan Rumah AG 2019 Mulai Dievaluasi". Pikiran Rakyat. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  25. Tjahjo Sasongko (28 July 2014). "Setelah 1962, Jakarta Kembali Tuan Rumah Asian Games" (in Indonesian). Kompas.com. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  26. "Indonesia to host 18th Asian Games in 2018". Olympic Council of Asia. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  27. Butler, Nick (4 October 2014). "Asian Games: The Closing Ceremony". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  28. Prathivi, Niken (10 September 2015). "Asian Games logo expected to inspire high performance". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  29. "Ministry to change logo, mascot after outcry". www.thejakartapost.com. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  30. 1 2 Ina Parlina (29 July 2016). "RI gets down to business with new logo, cute mascots". The Jakarta Post. Jakarta.
  31. "Meet Bhin-bhin, Ika, Atung, Asian Games 2018 Mascots". jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
  32. Aziza, Kurnia Sari; Afrianti, Desy (7 January 2015). "Jelang Asian Games 2018, DKI Akan Bangun Kampung Atlet di Kemayoran". KOMPAS. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  33. 1 2 Wardany, Irawaty (28 January 2015). "Pencak silat will make Asian Games' maiden showin 2018". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  34. 1 2 Goddard, Emily (8 January 2015). "Preparations for Jakarta 2018 Asian Games praised by OCA President". inside the games. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  35. "Sumsel Siap Gelar 18 Cabang Olahraga Asian Games 2018" (in Indonesian). Suara Pembaruan. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  36. Tristia Tambun, Lenny (7 January 2015). "Hadapi Asian Games 2018, Djarot Minta Pembangunan MRT Dikebut" (in Indonesian). Berita Satu. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  37. "South Sumatra to build monorail for 2018 Asian Games". Antara News. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  38. "Jadi Tuan Rumah, Pemkot Targetkan 2017 Siap Sambut Asian Games" (in Indonesian). Rakyat Merdeka Online Sumsel. 9 March 2015.
  39. "Palembang airport to be revamped for 2018 Asian Games". Jakarta Post. thejakartapost.com. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  40. Al-Yamani, Zaky; Ilham Rafles, Riki (17 September 2015). "Pembukaan Asian Games 2018 Batal di Palembang". VIVA. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  41. "Minister: 2018 Asian Games Closing Ceremony in Palembang". Jakarta Globe. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  42. "Skateboarding added to 2018 Asian Games programme after late agreement reached". Inside The Games. 25 September 2016.
  43. "Bridge included in 2018 Jakarta Asian Games". Dawn. APP. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  44. "Pesisir Barat Tuan Rumah Kejuaran Surfing Asian Games" (in Indonesian). Radar Lampung. 15 November 2016.
  45. "Doubts emerge about Indonesia's preparedness for Asian Games 2018". The Jakarta Post. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  46. "Ahok Wants Asian Games to be Held in Palembang". Tempo. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.

External links

Preceded by
Asian Games

XVIII Asiad (2018)
Succeeded by
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