56 years ago, Indonesia hosted it’s first Asian Games.
The world was different back then.
Narrowly outvoting Karachi 20 -22, Jakarta was selected to host the 4th Asian Games. Geopolitics ensured Isreal and Taiwan were not invited to the Games (Ok, maybe some things were pretty similar).
Only 17 countries participated, including North Borneo, Sarawak, Ceylon, South Vietnam, and Burma – former nations that now make up a transformed SEA.
These countries raised a combined total of 1,460 athletes, in what proved to be a fantastic Games. In fact, the competition would help shape the Jakarta and Indonesia we know today.
Here are 20 nostalgic photos from the first time Jakarta hosted the Asian Games in 1962…
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium Was Finished In July 1962
Just in time for the Games in August, thanks to a loan from the Soviet Union.
It Was The Largest Stadium In Asia At The Time
With a capacity of 110,000 people… minimal seating, of course. Why sit when you can stand, anyway?
President Sukarno Welcomes The Competitors
An Organised India
A Confident Japan
Who hadn’t marched like that through Jakarta since 1945. (Too soon?)
And The Hosts, Indonesia
Who had the largest number of athletes at the Games.
President Sukarno And His Crew
Let The Games Begin!
Obviously, The Television Coverage Wasn’t As Clear
Seriously, Is That Badminton Or Bridge?
Though The Games Were A Stamp Collectors Dream!
Look At That Inflation…
(All prices are shown in IDR)
Heads Or Tails?
The commemorative coin for the 4th Asian Games… probably worth more than the highest Indonesian note around today!
The Indian Team Were The Unlikely Heroes Of The Men’s Football
Willing To Win Gold At All Costs
Hong Kong’s Contingent
Considerably smaller than today.
Indonesia’s Sarengat Wins Gold In 1962
A good omen for Lalu Muhammad Zohri?
Party Time At The Sukarno Residence
The 1962 Asian Games Statue – Ring A Bell, Jakartans?
The idealistic youngsters are still youthful enough to welcome the 2018 athletes, 56 years on.
How The Games Finished
Japan obviously stomped to victory 1962, but Indonesia put in tremendous effort to come second.
54 years later, we are seeing the same effort from Indonesia’s finest competitors and, indeed, the best of the rest of Asia.
Today – we remember the legends of the past, while supporting the heroes of the present.
May the best men and woman win!