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  • Asian Olympic Leaders Celebrate 100 Years of Asian Games -- On-the-Scene


    01/17/14

    The celebration took place Friday night. (ATR)
    (ATR) Friday night saw a gala celebration to mark 100 years of the Asian Games. Delegates to the Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly held a celebration for the anniversary in Manila.

    The highlight of the night was a performance from Regine Velasquez, one of the Philippines’ biggest pop stars, who is dubbed “Asia’s songbird.”

    While the event marked 100 years of the Asian Games, the event was largely a celebration of Asian culture with dancers and musicians representing art forms from throughout the continent.
     
    In his speech to the guests, OCA president Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah said, “This is a symbol, although this program is rich.”

    Regine Velasquez performs at Friday's ceremony. (Getty Images)
    Looming large in the minds of event organizers was November’s devastating Typhoon Haiyan. The storm caused the OCA General Assembly to be moved from Borcay to Manila due to the widespread destruction and loss of life.

    Ahmad said the move proved the resilience of Asian sports.

    Philippines Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco said in his opening remarks “this is not the time for speech-making,” adding a tremendous amount of work remained to rebuild the Philippines.

    “Sports guide the people of the Philippines,” he said.

    “The world of sports is behind us in this year of sadness.”

    An unexpected highlight was the performance of Malaysian IOC member Prince Tunku Imran. He took the stage for a karaoke rendition of a few Beatles tunes, and then belted out a minutes-long cabaret with gusto.

    Written by Ed Hula III in Manila

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