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Asia's greatest sporting event

india Updated: Dec 02, 2006 02:02 IST
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The Asian Games have grown remarkably from its modest beginning in 1951. An apt reflection of Asia's growing prominence in the world sporting arena, the Games bring together the best of athletes from all over Asia.

More importantly, these Games are a rare forum which brings together the Asian nations in a show of solidarity. Not only do all the participating nations compete against each other in a wide range of sporting disciplines, the Games also act as a forum for cultural exchange, showcasing the best of Asian culture. And of course the Games build friendships that span boundaries.

The Games are organised by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), an umbrella body for sports in Asia. It succeeded the Asian Games Forum, which organised the Games up to the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games.

India can take pride in the fact that it was at India's initiative that the Asian Games were established and the first Games were held in Delhi's then newly built National Stadium in 1951. Busan will be hosting the 14th edition of the now mega sporting spectacle that is expected to draw about 10,000 participants from 43 nations in 419 events spread over a fortnight. From just six disciplines in the inaugural Games to the 39 at Busan has been a long journey.