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29th SEA Games, Kuala Lumpur 2017 closes on the Merdeka Eve

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by vincentloy

After about two weeks of competitions, the 29th South East Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur 2017 has finally came to an end. The closing ceremony was held yesterday in the same venue, Bukit Jalil National Stadium on 30th August 2017. That’s also the Merdeka Eve (a day before Malaysia’s 60th anniversary of independence).

The ceremony fell short of excitement as there isn’t any performance by the next host country, Philippines. The host country of the next games has to deliver a performance in the usual tradition of the closing ceremony. However, Philippines had only decided to host it not long ago, they had no preparation to deliver a performance in that short notice, and that they wished to save the budget for the games’ hosting two years later. Hence, a no show from them. It was just a simple and formal handover ceremony from Malaysia to Philippines. This games also see among the worst performance by Philippines as they only won 24 gold medals, well below the 50-gold medal target they set earlier. Well, I’m sure they are going to do much better in the next edition as it is going to be hosted by them. Home advantage.

Same goes to Malaysia this time. Home advantage. And adding that with some obvious biased decisions by the judges in several sports in this games. The end result is an extraordinary victory for Malaysia in this games. We collected 145 gold medals, 92 silver medals, and 86 bronze medals, for a total of 323 medals. That’s more than enough to top the medal tally (Thailand came in second with 72 golds, we get more than double of that). Our last biggest achievement in this games was way back in 2001 (also held in Kuala Lumpur) when we won 111 gold medals. We set 111-golds as our target this time too and we accomplished far beyond that. Despite all the biased judgements and organizing sports that Malaysia is good at (typical for any host countries), I have to still admit that Malaysia really did a good job here. Well, it’s quite easy to win medals here. We have to move on after a word of congratulations! We have to raise our bar high by aiming to win more medals in bigger games like Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.

Back to the closing ceremony. The ceremony was very boring. There is no cultural performance by the next host country (Philippines) as stated earlier, and there is only a very short performance by Malaysia to end the games. Other than that, it was all the formal stuff (handover, extinguishing of flame, national anthem, parade of athletes, etc). After that, the ceremony is dedicated as a Merdeka countdown celebration with over an hour of boring singing. The song choices are very poor (all Malay songs with no universal appeal) that did not highlight the diversity of the nation. How do you expect people from other countries to enjoy this? Even I as a Malaysian do not like this too. I thought there would be a grand countdown to Merdeka but that is not happening. Instead, we got a speech from the Prime Minister which is a happy news for all Malaysians too because he announced next Monday as an additional public holiday to mark the success of the country in this SEA Games. I think that’s the only one good thing that comes out from his mouth. Well, that holiday didn’t mean anything to me as I’m now here in Australia for my study. Sad…

 

  

All my people back in my country is enjoying this long 5-day of holiday combining Independence Day, Hari Raya Haji, the weekend, and this one extra special public holiday. I’m jealous of that. After the Prime Minister’s speech that ended past 12am, there is no official countdown to this historic day to my major disappointment. Even the fireworks that end the ceremony are not much. Everything in the opening ceremony is much better. This closing ceremony is like ‘well, we shall end the games by just showing how proud we are to be the overall champion of the games…that’s it’. No effort, no creativity, and no ‘wow’. This also belittles the participants from other countries and foreign audiences.

There would be this 9th ASEAN Para Games (sports for the disabled) to be held next month. After that, we say goodbye to KL (still a good host despite all the negative issues like wrong flags, biased judges, bad bus drivers, bad supporters’ attitudes, etc). Next SEA Games, Manila 2019!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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29th SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017 opens with surprisingly good opening ceremony!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2017 by vincentloy

The 29th South East Asian (SEA) Games Kuala Lumpur 2017 has officially opened with a magnificent opening ceremony held just now in Bukit Jalil National Stadium. I am not in Malaysia but I am glad to be able to watch the ceremony live just now from YouTube. It began on 8.17pm (20:17 time for this year of 2017). I didn’t have high expectation of the ceremony, as you know, it is Malaysia. I remembered that our opening ceremony for 1998 Commonwealth Games was nothing exciting and I don’t even remember a single moment from the ceremony in 2001 when we last hosted this SEA Games.

Then, I am left surprised. The opening ceremony just now was actually good. Not to the point that it was incredible or out of this world, but it is still a great show. We of course cannot compare this to Olympic-level ceremonies. This is considered breathtaking at SEA Games level. The ceremony is short (just two hours) and I’m fine with it. The official speeches were short (good too). The first half of the ceremony is dedicated for all the official procedures like flags parade, athletes parade, and oaths taking. Then, came the second part that I’m looking forward to which is the performance segment.

I’m surprised that the role of the creative director is given to a Chinese this time. Cool. That’s a wise decision. I’m not intending to be racist here but giving major role to a Chinese in Malaysia is a very seldom occasion. Give us a chance and we will deliver. And he (forgot his name) delivered. I’m amazed by his ability to combine the traditional shows with contemporary elements for the performances. It’s hard to do that and he accomplished it. I can still experience the unique diversity of Malaysia (and ASEAN overall) through traditional dances and outfits, but at the same time, listening to vibrant modern music and seeing high-tech colourful lighting and projection all around. The choreography and synchronisation aren’t at the best but the effort is there. The presentation appeared to be like a mess for a time but overall, the energy was there.

Before watching the show, I have fear that the ceremony will be overwhelmed with very traditional dances and songs. I’m now certainly in relief. The songs during the performance are also great and complements to the energetic atmosphere of the almost fully-packed stadium. As for the stadium, I love the newly refurbished stadium. It looks awesome with the new skin cladding and modern LED lights. A major disappointment of the ceremony would be the cauldron. It’s just a huge chunk of cylinder mimicking ‘oil lamp’ (the broadcaster said so). That part is supposed to be intense and exciting. The end result is not. Lack of effort on this crucial part of the ceremony. And I don’t even know the last torch bearer. Apology but who is she? The last torch bearer is supposed to be someone who is the most excellent in world sports. By the way, where is our beloved Datuk Lee Chong Wei? He is not appearing at all in this ceremony. He is the best choice for that spot.

Last but not least, the concluding fireworks is awesome although I wish for more. Generally, the ceremony is great and is a good effort but it lacks ‘wow’ moment. There literally isn’t any ‘wow’ moment in the show. All the ‘suspended in the air’ show in the ceremony fall short of excitement too. The idea of having LED lights installed at the side of audiences’ seats reminds me of the same situation for London 2012 ceremonies. Well, I’m fine for this idea to be reused again to make the show better. Now, the games begin and we will see if Malaysia could reach its target by winning over 111 golds and topping the medal tally. The games will end with a closing ceremony on 30th August 2017, which is coincidentally the eve of the country’s 60th anniversary of independence celebration.

(Images in this post are from The Star Online and YouTube screenshots)

No losing city in this year’s bid for 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2017 by vincentloy

The voting for the host city of 2024 Summer Olympic Games will take place on this coming September. Only two cities are remaining in the bid; Paris and Los Angeles. In an extraordinary International Olympic Committee Session held yesterday, the committee approved a decision to award the games to both cities, one in 2024 and another one in 2028.

So, there wouldn’t be any losing city in this year’s bid for the games. If a city receives lesser number of votes in the voting, it will still host the games, but that would be the next edition (4 years later) than originally intended. That’s certainly good news for both Paris and Los Angeles. I have to admit both cities are more than capable to host this world’s largest international multi-sport event.

Which city do you think will get the 2024 games? My personal choice would be Paris. If I’m not mistaken, Paris has submitted bid a number of times in the last few editions of the games but lost every time. I remembered the city lost to London for 2012 games by only a few votes. The last time that Paris has hosted the games was in 1924. If Paris win the right to host 2024 games, it will be coincidentally marking 100th anniversary since the last Olympics in the city. I also like the simplicity of its logo showing the number ’24’ that also designed to resemble their iconic Eiffel Tower.

Check out their bidding’s presentation clips below:

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So my choice is Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028. This means that those cities which intend to bid for 2028 games has to drop out their plan and bid for 2032 games instead. I think this move will make the bidding for 2032 games to be more intense and exciting as more cities are expected to join the race by then. A joint bid by Malaysia and Singapore is explored and is possible for the 2032 games’ bid. I would love to see that but I think our chance is pretty low. It will be hard to resolve on many issues when more than one country is involved in a single games. Malaysia and Singapore have not even hosted Asian Games before (although Malaysia has hosted Commonwealth Games and Singapore has hosted Youth Olympic Games). I can only elaborate further on our chance if the joint bid is confirmed, and that is long way to go.

Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games officially began with a splendid opening ceremony.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2016 by vincentloy

I purposely woke up before 7am this morning to watch the live broadcast of the opening ceremony of the 31st Summer Olympic Games, Rio 2016. The ceremony which took about four hours in Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil saw attendance of over 78 000 spectators and also audiences from around the world watching from television or from the internet. This is the first time the Summer Olympiad is held in South America.

Before the start of the games, the organizers had mentioned that they would spend very little on the ceremonies due to the financial crisis of their country in recent years. And because of that, I have very little expectation since this kind of ceremonies should not be taken lightly as it is a very strong platform to showcase the best of the host nation that can offer and present to the world. But in the end, I still insist to watch the opening ceremony to see what they can do with limited budget. And surprisingly, the outcome is that I’m quite impressed with the opening ceremony that had just concluded an hour ago.

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While it is expected that the organizers would still be depending on light projection on the floor for most part of the performances’ segment, the ceremony also shined from some very creative concepts presented. The first presentation that led to the countdown to mark the commencement of the opening ceremony was a bit of a letdown when there is no connection between the 10-second timing display to the performers on the stage. Fortunately, things get better soon with brilliant presentation to display the history and the multicultural state of Brazil. However, I find that the performances’ segment was a bit too short and the parade of nations kicked in so fast.

Over 200 countries are participating in this games and this is the first time a team for the Refugee is created to compete in Olympics. Not to forget to compliment Brazil to have this ceremony as a platform to create awareness on climate change and global warming issues. Even the Olympic rings were presented from artificial trees and they are all green (of course) which also coincides with the main colour of Brazilian flag. As for the Olympic flame arrival and cauldron lighting section, it’s a bit underwhelmed because it was done like without much thought (my impression was ‘like that only?) and I also find the animated mechanism behind the floating cauldron a bit awkward eventhough it still looks beautiful. The fireworks display at the end from the stadium was also a bit plain.

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Rio de Janeiro did delivered a grand and fabulous opening ceremony and I’m quite amazed of how they can do this with small budget (it doesn’t look cheap at all). However, it could not match the greatness we have seen from London 2012 (lesser ‘wow’ but very meaningful and touching) and of course the Beijing 2008 (full of ‘wow’ and grand). This Rio 2016 opening ceremony still delivered some ‘wow’ factors but appeared less energetic and vibrant despite all the iconic and colourful Brazilian costumes and dances. So now the Rio 2016 games has officially begins and will continue till 21st August 2016. There will be over 2 weeks of intense and interesting competitions from various sports to watch, contested by the best of the athletes from across the world.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

It’s all about Rio 2016 for this month.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s the first day of the month and it’s also the official first day of my second semester. Well, there is no class for me on every Monday and so, I will be only start to attend class from tomorrow onward. But I have already had a site visit yesterday for my design studio this semester already which means that my time has already to be dedicated for this second semester. I’m looking forward to this second semester and I hope I can also do well just like what I have done for my first semester, or even better if possible. I’m also anticipating the end of this semester so that I can fly back to Malaysia by end of November or early December. Haha…it’s a bit too quick to think about that right now when this semester has just started.

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So, my holiday is gone and there comes four months of stress and heavy workloads from all the assignments and classes. Slowly, I think I would start missing the past month when all I do everyday is just by sleeping, eating, and surfing internet. I also don’t think there can be any more time for afternoon nap from now onward. I have to get the bad habit away, turn off my lazy mode and have to work hard and smart to deal with this semester and also two more in next year before the course’s completion and my graduation.

The 31st Summer Olympic Games is finally going to take place this month. The world’s biggest multi-sport event that happens once in every four years is a global event watched by all sporting fans around the globe. This 31st edition is scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 5th to 21st August 2016. The opening ceremony is going to be held on this Friday, 5th August on 8pm Brazil time. If I’m going to watch the live broadcast of the ceremony, I have to wake up very early on Saturday’s morning due to the world’s different time zone which is not too bad this time. I remember I purposely stay awake till midnight four years ago to watch the live broadcast of the opening ceremony for the London 2012 games. I was the only one in the living room watching the ceremony as I’m the only one in my family who have an interest on it. Can’t believe that was four years ago. Time flies.

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(Seen above is the new Barra Olympic Park for Rio 2016. The main stadium that will host some sporting events and also the opening and closing ceremonies is Maracana Stadium, is not located in this Olympic Park. That is odd since it is usually the main stadium will be the centerpiece of any Olympic Parks in the past.)

I didn’t have high expectation for this edition’s ceremonies due to the very low budget allocated on it and also low expectation to the overall games due to the many problems surrounding the host city this time. Brazil is facing economical instability, Zika virus, massive underdeveloped places, high security and safety risks, etc. But I believe Rio de Janeiro will compensate a bit with beautiful natural setting like the magnificent beaches and hills, more developed urban areas, newly constructed facilities and venues, etc. All I’m wishing for in this games is to see Lee Chong Wei to win Malaysia’s first ever Olympic gold medal this time in badminton. It’s his last chance, and I will elaborate later on this point if he managed to get into the final.

August 2016 Blog Header

In conjunction with the 31st Olympiad this month, Rio 2016, my blog header of the month would be also highlighting on this sporting event. Nobody would have not heard of Olympics. It’s the event that bring best athletes from across the world together to compete in various sports contested. It’s the event that the world will be putting the eyes on. It’s the event all sport fans love, even the ordinary people like me too who doesn’t really like sport much but still love to watch some intense sporting competitions. The visual for the header (from this original source: https://iso.500px.com/rio-de-janeiro-photos/) is a striking aerial view of the host city, Rio de Janeiro with the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue overlooking the picturesque city. The image is superimposed with the official logo of the Rio 2016 to signify the games. How fortunate iit is for Rio de Janeiro to be chosen as the host city of such prestigious event.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Durban to host 2022 Commonwealth Games while Hangzhou to host 2022 Asian Games.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2015 by vincentloy

Last month, the host city for the Commonwealth Games 2022 and also the Asian Games 2022 was announced respectively. These two games are widely considered as the two biggest multi-sporting events in the world, just behind the Summer Olympics. Commonwealth Games involves participation of athletes from over 50 nations which are former territories of the past British empire while Asian Games involves participation of athletes from 40 countries in the largest continent in the world, Asia. Both of the games are held once in every four years, following the similar interval with the Olympics.

Malaysia is part of both of the games since Malaysia was once British territory before we gained independence in 1957, and our country is in Asia continent. We have hosted the Commonwealth Games back in 1998, but surprisingly, we have not hosted Asian Games before. In comparison, even our neighbouring country, Thailand had hosted it five times! And we have none. Our country bid for the games several times in the past but lost. It must be that our presentation to the voters is not good enough every time. Now, lesser and lesser countries expressed interest to host these games mainly due to the concern of the high cost of hosting them.

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Despite that concern, I’m sure that my country, Malaysia is still capable of hosting Asian Games and we should. Of course, hosting Olympics is far from our reach but can’t we go a bit further (by hosting Asian Games) rather than just focusing on smaller games like the next South East Asian Games which is scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017? We should dream bigger! Set our sight on Asiad’s hosting job. It’s possible. I think we shall bid for 2026 Asian Games as the host for the 2022 Asian Games had already been decided recently.We missed the opportunity to host the 2022 edition since we are not bidding when there is not much competition around.

For the selection of the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games last month, Durban, South Africa is the only city with confirmed bid as the other city, Edmonton, Canada withdrew their bid early this year. Hence, at the Commonwealth Games Federation’s General Assembly, there isn’t a need to vote as there is only a city bidding and hence it is selected officially to host the games seven years from now. It will be the first Commonwealth Games to be held in African continent. The games are set to open on the 18 July 2022, coinciding with the birthday of the late South African President and global icon, Nelson Mandela.

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Same case goes to the selection of the host city for the 2022 Asian Games which was also held last month. There is no other city bidding for the games besides than Hangzhou, China. It is the only city that declared the candidacy in August 2015, a month before the selection. Hence, without any other city battling for the hosting job, Hangzhou is chosen to host the games automatically without the need of voting. If Malaysia bid for this one, we may win because voters may not want to see the games back to China so soon. Now, the voters have no choice. This will be the third time China hosting Asian Games after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010. Well, I actually expected China to host this again so soon after Guangzhou 2010 because the country has a lot of money and will never have any financial or manpower concern. Furthermore, the country is more than capable of delivering fantastic games with over-the-top opening and closing ceremonies.

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Congratulation to both Durban and Hangzhou for being selected to host Commonwealth and Asian Games respectively in 2022. It is an easy path for them without facing any competition by other cities. Well, I think the sports committees involved should really tackle the issue of high cost of hosting the games. Make the games economical and sustainable, and ensure them to present more benefits to the hosting city after the games rather than leaving behind debts and ‘white elephant’ sporting venues.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur; Beijing chosen to host 2022 Winter Olympics and Lausanne for 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2015 by vincentloy

The 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session is currently on-going at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 30th July to 3rd August 2015. Eventhough my country did not get to host any Olympic Games yet, but I’m already glad that we got to host an IOC Session this year, an important agenda in Olympic calendar. The IOC Session is where the meeting of all the members of the International Olympic Committee takes place, and is also the event when host cities for future games will be selected.

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia defeated Lima, Peru to be the host of the 128th IOC Session. It’s a great start to introduce the country to the Olympic body before seriously planning for bids in future games. Recently, Prince Imran, the chairman of the session’s organizing committee, chairman of Malaysia’s National Olympic Council and also the President of Commonwealth Games Federation, suggested a joint bid with Singapore to host the prestigious Summer Olympic Games in 2028 or 2032. Joint bid proposal is made possible after the Olympic Agenda 2020 recently introduced by the President of IOC, Thomas Bach. He also mentioned that the committee would be glad if the games can be held for the first time in South East Asian region.

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak whom also officiated the opening of the IOC Session yesterday agreed and strongly supports the joint bid proposal. On the other hand, Singapore finds the concept interesting and may give it a try together soon. So, let us wait and see. Since either of these two countries can’t host the games on their own, a joint-hosting job will be a great solution. I would love to bring Olympic Games to Malaysia (and Singapore together) in 2028 or 2032. Malaysia had previously hosted 1998 Commonwealth Games while Singapore had hosted 2010 Youth Olympic Games. When both join hands, it will be easily a successful bid. However, there would be many new details and conflicts on this proposed collaboration, and let’s hope it all works out.

Back to the on-going IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur. Today is the day when the voting is conducted to choose the host city for 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games and the bigger 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The results are as follow; Lausanne, Switzerland defeated Brasov, Romania to be the host city for 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. This Winter Youth Olympic Games is very new in Olympic history as it had just started in 2012 with Innsbruck 2012, and then second edition coming soon in Lillehammer 2016. Beijing, China defeated Almaty, Kazakhstan to be the host city for 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Beijing will be the only city to host both Summer and Winter Olympic Games in history. Wonderful. Congratulations to both Lausanne and Beijing. We look forward to the games in your city in near future!

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(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)