Definition of Asian Games

While the most famous multi-sport event held every four years is most certainly the Olympic Games, the second largest is most certainly the Asian Games (or the Asiad). This is a multi-sport event held every 4 years that brings in athletes from all over Asia, with the first being held in 1951.

The Asian Games - What are they and how often are they held?  The article explains.

The first games were held in 1951 in New Delhi, India and were regulated by the Asian Games Federation. This was until the 1978 games. Since 1982 they have been organized by the Olympic Council of Asia. There have been controversies in the past, like when Indonesia refused to let Israel participate. Taiwan was also excluded in 1990, at least until the People's Republic of China was pressured to allow them to compete.

A wide variety of sports has been included in the games over time, although only a few have been implemented from the very beginning. These include general athletics (sprints, long jump, relays and so on), basketball, diving, association football, swimming and water polo. On the other hand, some of the news sports include roller sports, paragliding, martial art sports and pencak silat as they only appeared at the 2018 edition.

China has been the most successful at the games, winning a total of 3187 medals (1473 gold medals). A close second is Japan, with 3054 total medals (1032 gold). South Korea rounds out the top 3, with 2235 medals (745 gold). After that, the medals drop off significantly for Iran, India, Thailand, North Korea and the others.

As for how the 2022 games will work in Hangzhou, China shall be interesting to see, especially if the COVID-19 pandemic continues or new strains develop. However, one thing is for sure: the Asiad has lasted through multiple conflicts and pressures. A pandemic is unlikely to shut it down for good.