As the schedule of the Hangzhou Asian Games enters its final day, with continuous teasers about the closing ceremony's highlights, this pan-Asian sports event is about to come to a close. A poet says "when I recall Jiangnan, Hangzhou brings back most of my memories." Hangzhou has fulfilled its promise of hosting a perfect Asian Games that is "green, smart, frugal, and civilized." When the sacred flame slowly extinguishes, it will leave behind beautiful memories and heartfelt farewells for Asia and the entire world.
It should be said that this has been a lively and festive Asian Games, and also a vibrant and modern event. In over half a month, the Hangzhou Asian Games has left people with memorable moments, including a surprising opening ceremony, touching moments of dedication and cooperation, the omnipresence of intelligent technology, and warm and attentive event services. From any perspective, this Games, with the highest number of events, participants, and the most complex competition organization in the history of Asian Games, has achieved tremendous success. Its success is expected, and has left a deep impression due to the countless surprises it brought.
Hangzhou, as one of China's most dynamic cities, has showcased China's openness and vitality to guests from various Asian countries and regions, while also building bridges of friendship and communication. For instance, the scene where athletes from China, Japan, and South Korea consoled each other and left the field together after the men's 1500m final was captured by many media outlets and received countless likes on Chinese social media. Learning from opponents during competition, fostering unity and friendship through competition - this is the true essence of sportsmanship and the way people and nations should interact. Beyond the intense sporting competitions at the Hangzhou Asian Games, there have been many respects and embraces, and the emotions they bring transcend sports itself.
What is especially commendable is that during the Hangzhou Asian Games, all activities have revolved around the sporting events themselves, and sports have not been exploited or influenced by other factors. In recent years, with changes in the international landscape, geopolitics has inevitably permeated various fields, creating conflicts and confrontations where they shouldn't exist, including in international sports events. The Hangzhou Asian Games has successfully resisted this negative influence, allowing the games to return to their essence. It has once again made the spirit of sports a bond that connects the hearts of different nations and ethnic groups.
This year's Asian Games has attracted participation from 45 countries and regions. Each country has its own unique national conditions and different systems and cultures. Some are among the wealthiest countries in the world and some are still struggling with political instability. However, on the Asian Games stage, regardless of which country or region they represent, athletes share the same starting line and move toward the same goal. As of Friday night, there were 15 world records, 28 Asian records, and 150 Asian Games records broken at the Hangzhou Asian Games, behind which is the relentless pursuit of "faster, higher, stronger - more united" by nearly 12,000 athletes. Each new record is greeted with sincere cheers and applause, regardless of the country or region the athlete is from.
For the Chinese people, "out of Asia, into the world" was once the nation's aspiration for the Asian Games. Every time a gold medal is won, it ignites an unparalleled sense of national pride among hundreds of millions of Chinese people. However, as various major sports events have been held in China in recent years, despite it still cheers for winning gold medals, Chinese society no longer sees it as the sole proof of the county's strength. Instead, it places greater emphasis on the spiritual essence of sports. This represents a significant psychological shift and demonstrates the collective maturity and confidence of Chinese society, behind which is the growth of China transitioning from being a major sporting nation to a leading sporting nation.
At the same time, hosting the Asian Games is no longer just about "bringing glory to the country." Its long-term effects will continue to play a role, not only in promoting local economy and sports industry development, but more importantly, it conveys a distinct value of "achieving self-realization through hard work." The short videos of athletes striving to surpass themselves quickly became popular on Chinese social platforms, precisely because the sprits they conveyed resonate with the mainstream values of Chinese society. From this, the outside world can gain a better understanding of the thoughts of Chinese society, which is to achieve dreams through hard work and strive for a better life.
In Hangzhou, Asia has experienced a wonderful time together. As the Hangzhou Asian Games, a sports festival, is about to come to an end, its spiritual power as a cultural event will continue to be timeless. It's hard to say goodbye to Hangzhou. We hope that its tangible material legacy will continue to contribute to the development of sports and society in this city, and we also look forward to its intangible spiritual legacy being carried to every corner of Asia and even the world with the help of everyone who has witnessed it.