Tomorrow, the 15th Asian Games, the largest sporting event in Asia, will open in Doha (Qatar). Just landing from Kuwait City where he chaired the last IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting of the year, the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, will attend the opening ceremony at the Khalifa Stadium, as will his colleagues from the IOC EB and members of the Executive Council of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA),
Games of all records
Held less than two years before the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, the Doha Asian Games, staged as the ‘games of your life’ will be without doubt an unmissable rendez-vous for the best Asian athletes. From 1 to 15 December, more than 10,500 athletes from 45 countries and regions will compete in 46 disciplines across 39 sports in 424 events. A potential worldwide audience of 3 billion viewers is expected. The Main Media Centre, combining the Main Press Centre and the International Broadcast Centre, will be home to more than 4,500 media and broadcasters during the Games. Some 16,000 volunteers will take care of the athletes, officials, spectators and the media. The Doha 2006 Torch Relay is the longest relay in the history of the Games; travelling over 50,000 kilometres through 15 countries and regions in more than 50 days and featuring 1,000 torchbearers – meaning record participation in all areas.
From New Delhi to Doha
The history of the Asian Games began in 1951 with the first edition in New Delhi which featured 11 countries competing in six sports. Fifty-five years later, the Doha 2006 Games represent the first time the Asian Games have visited the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and it is the second time that the Games have been held in the Middle East, after Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran) in 1974.
President Rogge at the Opening Ceremony
Tomorrow , on 1st December, the IOC President Jacques Rogge will attend the Opening Ceremony in the Khalifa Stadium. During his three-day stay in the Qatari capital, President Rogge will also be received by the Qatari Head of State, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in the presence of the Heir Apparent, HH Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, also an IOC member. President Rogge will also visit the athletes’ village and attend various competitions. He will also take advantage of the occasion to take part in the General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia.