After succeeding in hosting the 2018th Asian Games, Indonesia is once again honored to be the hosting country of the Asian Para Games, with the city of Jakarta being the hosting city of this year’s Para Games.

What is the Para Games? Para Games is a sports competition for the disabled, much like the Paralympics which is a much older competition than the Asian Para Games. While the Paralympics is an international sports competition, Para Games only include countries in Asia as the participants.

Paralympics was first held in Rome in 1960, but the Asian Para Games were first held in Guangzhou, China in 2010. It was then held at Incheon, South Korea in 2014. Like the Paralympics, the Asian Para Games are held every four years. Save the date; the 2018th Asian Para Games will be held from October 6th until October 13th Indonesia time.

So what’s it all about?

First, the sports.

There are 18 sports in this year’s Asian Para Games.

  1. Archery
  2. Badminton
  3. Boccia
  4. Chess
  5. Goalball
  6. Judo
  7. Lawnball
  8. Para Athletic
  9. Para-Cycling
  10. Para Powerlifting
  11. Para-Swimming
  12. Shooting Para-Sport
  13. Table Tennis
  14. Tenpin Bowling
  15. Volleyball Sitting
  16. Wheelchair Basketball
  17. Wheelchair Fencing
  18. Wheelchair Tennis

These sports may sound familiar but they are all altered to accommodate disabled athletes. For example, archery in Asian Para Games is done with the athlete not standing up, but in a wheelchair.

Then, there are the participants.

All forty-three member nations of the Asian Paralympic Committee are expected to participate in this year’s Asian Para Games but only 41 nations have confirmed their participation as of today. Also, like the Asian Games, North and South Korea will be marching together in the opening ceremony and also competing together.

The Mascot and the Logo

This year’s Asian Para Games’ mascot is called MOMO. No, not the creepy and dangerous challenge but the Elang Bondol or the Brahminy Kite that symbolizes Jakarta as the hosting city as well as strength and courage. The eagle is mostly found on Pulau Seribu or Thousand Islands area located within Jakarta. It is easy to differ this eagle from other eagles because it has two colors; bright white from its head to its chest and dark brown for the rest of its body. On the mascot, MOMO is wearing a belt that is representative of the Betawi culture. Those who wear the belt are considered a champion or a hero. The name of this mascot, MOMO, is taken from the abbreviation of motivation and mobility, which are both needed to excel in the competition.

Photo by asianparagames2018.id

The logo also has a meaning. The outer circle of the logo is a representation of the harmony and balance of the very diverse nations of Asia. The various colored pieces that form the circle represent the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, which will be the main venue for this year’s Asian Para Games. The moving figure in the center of the logo symbolizes “The Energy of Asia” which was the motto of the previous 2018th Asian Games. The motto is also included for Asian Para Games; “The Inspiring Spirit and Energy of Asia”. For the colors, blue represents the sky, orange represents the sun, green represents nature, purple represents proximity and red represents spirit.

Torch Relay

Like in the previous Asian Games, Asian Para Games is also doing a torch relay. It started at Mrapen, Solo, Center Java on Wednesday, September 5th with the torch lighting ceremony. Then, the torch was passed to Solo (Central Java), Ternate (North Maluku), Makassar (South Sulawesi), Denpasar (Bali), Pontianak (West Kalimantan), Medan (North Sumatera), Pangkal Pinang (Bangka Belitung Islands) and stopped at Jakarta as the hosting city on September 30th.

The Theme Song

This year’s theme song is called “Song of Victory”. This song is sung by various local artists like Vidi Aldiano and Maudy Ayunda. Aside from the amazing local singers, this song is also sung by a blind singer called Putri Ariani.

Save the date! The opening ceremony of 2018th Asian Para Games will be held on October 6th at 7 PM Indonesia time (GMT+7). You can buy tickets here. For more information and the latest official news on the competition, you can look at their official site, available in English and their official Twitter account tweets daily about all the information you need to know.

Photo via Unsplash

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