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Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games


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SAWGOC holds the torch relay for the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games

2017

The torch relay for the 8th Asian Winter Games Sapporo 2017 took place on Monday, February 6th. It was also the first day of the Sapporo Snow Festival, a world-famous snow festival, which attracts a large number of tourists from home and abroad annually.

The torch relay began at 1.00pm from the former Hokkaido Government Office Building following the departure ceremony. The torch travelled a total of 2,200 m with six relays, passing through the venues of the Sapporo Snow Festival. It ended at Sapporo City Hall where there is a caldron from the 1972 Winter Olympics. Mai Asada, a former figure skater and the PR Ambassador for the Games, led the first group of runners as a torch bearer and added excitement to the torch relay. 35 local citizens chosen from 211 public applicants joined the relay as torch bearers and runners.

The program concluded with the arrival ceremony held at Cauldron Square in front of Sapporo City Hall. The ceremony featured Kamuinomori, a ritual of indigenous people of Hokkaido known as Ainu to pray for the success of the Games. Reflecting the passion of athletes and locals, the Games flame marked a new chapter in the history of Sapporo and Hokkaido where the city and the nature coexist. Moreover, it will serve as a symbol of the potential that Asia creates by sharing winter aspiration with the rest of the world.

The Games flame was divided to be displayed at City Hall of both Sapporo and co-host city Obihiro, the Hokkaido Government and ten ward offices in Sapporo from February 7th to 17th. Divided flames will be gathered again and arrive at Sapporo Dome, the Opening Ceremony venue, on February 19th. The Games flame will be relayed by Olympians and Paralympians, and finally the Games cauldron will be ignited at the Opening Ceremony.

 

source: https://sapporo2017.org

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Looks like they kind of recycled the torch from 1972 and 1964 with that white fume, kind of gives a nostalgic feeling.

The Ainu People were also present during the flame ceremonies (I hope they have a role in the opening)

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In other news, the Crown Prince confirmed he'll be at the Opening Ceremony in the name of the Emperor, much like how he opened the Aomori games back in 2003.

In th

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According to the ticketing site the Opening Ceremony is now sold out - I'm glad I pre-booked and didn't just turn up.

Hmm - I posted earlier it looks like there are lots of seat however the ticketing website suddenly has no availability for any session - so it looks like it is in person sales only now.

Edited by thatsnotmypuppy
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Seat locations for the Opening Ceremony. Looks like the stage will be something similar to Toronto 2015 opening. 

https://sapporo2017.org/uploaded/attachment/5296.pdf

Also here's the program for the Opening Ceremony.

https://sapporo2017.org/site/athletics/opening-ceremony.html

 

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Sapporo, Japan, February 15, 2017: The President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Mr Tsunekazu Takeda, believes the Sapporo Asian Winter Games will further display Japan’s commitment to the development of sport in Asia. Writing in the official handbook of the OCA’s 8th AWG, President Takeda says that the JOC and organising committee SAWGOC intend to make the 2017 Asian Winter Games a great success that will help to expand winter sports networks in Asia.

“The event will showcase Japan’s dynamism to Asian countries and regions with the focus on Sapporo – a city where people engage in international exchanges, embrace cultures different from their own and continue to take on new challenges amid Hokkaido’s beautiful natural environment,” said Mr Takeda.

The 8th AWG will run from February 19-26 with five sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events for the expected 31 competing National Olympic Committees. The JOC head and IOC Member, who is also Honorary President of SAWGOC, looks back on the history of the OCA’s winter sports festival, as Sapporo staged the first two editions in 1986 and 1990 and Aomori hosted the 2003 event.

“To promote winter sports as well as sporting participation, culture and international goodwill among Asian youths, the 8th Sapporo Asian Winter Games Organising Committee is preparing for the event with Japan’s traditional spirit of hospitality, or “omotenashi”, based on safe, reliable and environmentally friendly planning for a spectacle that will encourage athletes from across Asia to perform to the best of their abilities,” he adds.

Eleven of the 12 competition venues for the 8th AWG will be in Sapporo, with the speed skating at Obihiro, 200km away.
 

 

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what do you guys think about the idea to rename Asian Winter Games to Asian/Pacific Winter Games?
http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1047256/updates/26749

I prefer the name still Asian Winter Games and it's still governed by OCA however Pacific nations could take part as full-pledge participants which mean they could win the medal and could apply to be host country as well in the future edition.

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6 minutes ago, budse said:

what do you guys think about the idea to rename Asian Winter Games to Asian/Pacific Winter Games?
http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1047256/updates/26749

I prefer the name still Asian Winter Games and it's still governed by OCA however Pacific nations could take part as full-pledge participants which mean they could win the medal and could apply to be host country as well in the future edition.

Hmmmm. Not a bad idea. Let's face it, the Oceania Olympic Council (or whatever it i) is just too insignificant to be much use - it doesn't give us clout or much in the way of an internal competition. Just as Australia join the Asian Football Confederation and has already hosted an AFC Championship - , maybe it's time for Oceania to hook up with one of the bigger regional Olympic Councils formally.

My only concern is that the Olympic Council of Asia is already pretty big and crowded - the Asiads are already huge events not that far behind the Olympics themselves. Do they really want to make them bigger?

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1 hour ago, Sir Rols said:

Why stop at the Winter Asians? What about summer as well?

Beside Asian Winter Games, OCA has also invited Pacific countries to join Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat later this year. I think OCA could extend their invitation to Pacific countries to join OCA's Asian Beach Games.

As for summer version, I think it will be a burden to host city/country if they include all ONOC members and anyway ONOC has their own version as well, Pacific Games which the next edition will be held in 2019 in Tonga; although Australia and NZ are still reviewed by the Pacific Games Council to be included. In the meantime, perhaps Australia and NZ can consider to join Asian Games and it will give better exposure for both sides, Asian countries and Australia/NZ.

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On 2/20/2017 at 11:54 AM, Sir Rols said:

Why stop at the Winter Asians? What about summer as well?

Sir Rols, OCA may consider to invites Oceania countries to participate in Asian Games as well.

http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1047291/door-open-for-oceania-athletes-to-compete-at-2022-asian-games

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Not sure what to think. With the Winter Asiad it makes sense, but not with the summer edition. Not mentioning its just going to make it grow out of proportion even more (right now it seems only East Asia is interested in hosting the games).

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I agree with you about the growth part, but in terms of competition, it would be great for Oz and NZ to compete at the summer Asiads. We really don't have a viable secondary level competition after the Olympics to gain experience and hone competitive tactics and practices at. The Pacific Games are incredibly small, low level and don't provide a good level of competition at all. For Oz at the moment, after the Olympics it's really only the Commonwealth Games (where the competition varies according to the sport) or the Pan-Pacs in swimming that give us our best non-Olympic hit-out. Just as joining the AFC did wonders for Australian football in giving us some good "match practice", the Asiads would also fill an important gap in our Olympic preparations.

That said, I wouldn't want to see us join the OCA fully or formally. That would risk us getting swamped in Asian sports politics. On that level, the Oceania grouping gives us a nice level of independence and freedom to move when it comes to things like bidding.

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The Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games is officially closed today and the OCA flag handed over back to OCA as the next edition Asian Winter Games will be decided at OCA General Assembly in Ashgabat later this year. 

Quote

Largest Asian Winter Games Close as Snow Blankets Sapporo

 

(ATR) Abundant snowfall transformed Sapporo into a winter wonderland as the Asian Winter Games came to a close at Makomanai Skating Arena.

The Crown Prince of Japan Kotaishi Naruhito attended the two-hour closing ceremony that included performances by all figure skating medalists.

“It is my sincere hope that the future Asian Winter Games will give hopes and dreams to the children and future generations,” said the Japanese Crown Prince, addressing athletes, officials and guests. “I also wish that the Asian Winter Games will keep promoting not only winter sports, but also international friendship and world peace throughout the world,”
 

Acting Olympic Council of Asia president Timothy Fok declared the 8th edition of the Asian Winter Games closed.

“Sayonara Sapporo,” Fok said, before Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekasu Takeda returned the OCA flag and the flame was extinguished.

Both the Games and the growth of winter sport in Asia have come leaps and bounds since the inaugural edition in Sapporo in 1986, said Olympic Council of Asia and Japanese sport officials at a morning news conference.

A record 1,152 athletes representing 32 nations showcased their skills and talent on snow and ice over seven days of competition amid snow and below freezing temperatures in the 1972 Winter Olympic city. 

Sapporo organizing committee president Katsuhiro Akimoto emphasized the magnitude of the changes since the inaugural edition of the Games in Sapporo in 1986.

“At that time the Games were started with only seven member nations of the OCA that were familiar with winter sport, but with economic growth and the technology to make snow and ice we’ve come a long way,” said Akimoto, also the mayor of Sapporo. 

“Now there are indoor ski slopes in the Middle East and indoor skating rinks in cities in Asia, so the Asian Winter Games have grown to be a large scale sporting event,” he said.

OCA honorary life vice president Wei Jizhong commended the Japanese organizers, shared colorful anecdotes about competitors from warm weather nations and thanked the citizens of Sapporo. 

“The Sapporo people liked the games, supported the Games and attended the Games,” said the Chinese OCA official.

Wei proclaimed that Sapporo 2017 was the largest Asian Winter Games in history in terms of “NOC’s, athletes, events and atmosphere.”

He said that the international sport federations were “generally satisfied.”
 

“The international ski federation technical delegate told me he was very surprised to see that the amount of Asian skiers have increased and participated, even if the level was not very high – they came for competing, not medals,” Wei said. 

The Sapporo mayor said the Games showcased not only the city, but also the entire northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

“Through TV and the internet, we were able to show the world the attractiveness of winter sports and Hokkaido is a home for winter sport,” Akimoto said.

He confidently alluded to the possibility of Sapporo once again hosting the Winter Olympics.

“We are highly evaluated by various people and the city is highly capable of hosting international competitions,” Akihito said. “This time it was a large scale Games and when we invite the Olympics and Paralympics, it will be even larger scale, but the Asian Winter Games have given us experience.”

source: http://aroundtherings.com

 

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Normally I would say "Yeah, good luck with that" after seeing these statements, when we're going to have two Asian WOG in a row. 

But then I remember the precarious situation the WOG are into and I realize the IOC won't have much choices at this pace, tbh. 

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Another article that praises Sapporo on how they manage the Olympic Venues legacy which that they still use them post-Olympic Games and were used during the recent Asian Winter Games.

http://aroundtherings.com/site/A__59234/Title__Sapporo-Setting-the-Standard/292/Articles

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