Hangzhou: Indian athletes and members of the delegation that participated in the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games here in Hangzhou as “spectacular” and a resounding success.
Spectators were treated to a feast of ethereal beauty, art, colour and light, as the performance celebrated China’s cultural heritage, eastern aesthetics and the power of modern technology.
“China always produces such spectacular opening ceremonies,” said India’s deputy chef-de-mission and legendary archer Dola Banerjee.
“I was there at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010 and both those ceremonies too were memorable. We enjoyed it a lot as everyone played their part well. It is difficult to pinpoint any one aspect of the but still, I feel the final act in which the cauldron was lit by an artificial giant made of light was the best part,” said Dola.
The shotgun shooter said the ceremony was good, with excellent light performance. “It was very well synchronized and the best part was the lighting of the cauldron,” he said.
Swimmer Advait Page, who will participate in the men’s 200m backstroke event in a few days, said he had a great time at the spectacular event and praised everyone involved including the volunteers for their handwork. “My favourite part of the ceremony was the story-telling during the ceremony about how history and culture have played a role in China being what it is today, That was really good to see,” he added.
It was a ceremony worth cherishing for a long time for woman trap shooter Rajeshwari Kumari it was a very proud moment for her as she has been dreaming of representing India and walking out for such ceremonies since she was a child.
“This was a very proud moment for me. I have been dreaming since I was a child to walk in the opening ceremony and waving out at my father. This was even been better because he is the President of the Olympic Council of Asia. I could record his speech as an athlete and it was a very proud moment for me,” she said.
Swimmer Neena Venkatesh described the opening ceremony as “absolutely spectacular” to see. “It was absolutely spectacular to see, definitely once in a lifetime experience. It is not something that you can participate in unless you absolutely deserve to be there. Extremely proud and it was really nice to spend time with my friends and see what China’s culture really is,” said the swimmer who will be representing India in the women’s 50 and 100m butterfly events.