Today’s Doodle celebrates the start of the 18th Asian Games, also known as Asiad. Organized by the Olympic Council of Asia and held every four years, the Asian Games are the second largest multi-sport event in the world, behind only the Olympic Games. This year’s host country is Indonesia, with events happening in the country’s oldest city, Palembang, and the capital city of Jakarta.
Athletes from six Asian countries competed at the first Far Eastern Championship Games in 1913 in Manila. Although these games were discontinued in 1938, there was widespread support for a competition promoting the Olympic ideals of a peaceful society and the “harmonious development of humankind.”
This year, athletes from 45 countries will compete in 55 events. Swimming and track and field always attract a big audience at the Asian Games, and there are many other sports represented too, ranging from football, fencing, weight lifting, and martial arts, to jet skiing and the card game bridge.
This year also marks the debut of another genre of non-physical events: esports, or competitive video games. Esports will be considered a “demonstration” category this year, so no official medals will be given, but they plan to do so at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Good luck to all the athletes representing their countries at the 2018 Asian Games!