(ATR) The man who delivered the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies, Marco Balich, will turn his attention towards opening the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Balich Worldwide Shows helped produce the vibrant Rio 2016 Paralympic opening ceremony. (ATR)
The Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games ceremonies brought the culture of Rio de Janeiro to life. Balich will seek to replicate this achievement and introduce the audience to the Turkmen culture at the country’s first multi-sport event.
“The Games will be historic moment for Turkmenistan, as Ashgabat 2017 will be the first major multi-sport event to be hosted in Turkmenistan,” says AIMAG executive committee chairman Dayanch Gulgeldiyev. “Our aim is to deliver the best ever AIMAG and the experience and talent that Balich bring to the table will play a part in our success.”
The second-largest Asian multi-sport Games following the Asian Games, the AIMAG are held once every four years since the Asian Indoor Games and Martial Arts Games were joined together in 2013. Ashgabat is hosting the second edition of the combined Games following the successful event in Incheon, South Korea in 2013.
Marco Balich (R) with the first Rio 2016 torchbearer Lefteris Petrounias. (Stratos Safioleas)
Competition for the event officially begins on Sep. 16 but Balich and his team launch the real festivities with the opening ceremony on Sep. 17. The ceremonies will take place at the newly built Saparmurat Turkmenbashi Olympic Stadium that resides in the Ashgabat Olympic Complex and seats 45,000. The construction company that built the facilities will also help deliver the ceremonies.
“We are so happy to bring our Olympic expertise to Ashgabat 2017 within its Olympic Complex which is an astonishing site, featuring excellent constructions and infrastructures, high standards [of] facilities and technologies,” said BWS chairman Balich.
The BWS production team will add the Ashgabat ceremonies to its impressive resume of multi-sport event showcases. Balich’s Olympic experience includes ceremonies for Torino 2006, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 as well as the Flag Handovers of Salt Lake City 2002, London 2012 and Tokyo 2020.
Competition during the AIMAG runs from Sep. 16-27 and features 21 sports with athletes competing from 45 countries.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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