Myanmar on Spotlight for the 27th SEA Games
Myanmar is having a remarkable year as it hosts the 27th Southeast Asian Games from December 11 to 22, 2013 at Naypyityaw, Yangon. It has been 44 years since the country hosted the games, the last in 1969 when it was still called the SEAP (Southeast Asian Peninsular Games).
Singapore was supposed to host the 27th edition of the friendly competition but had to withdraw its hosting privileges because of the unforeseen delays in the construction of the new stadium where it was originally designed for the games to be held. When the Southeast Asian Games Federation or SEAGF Council had its meeting in Jakarta last May 31, 2010, the council unanimously concurred to spotlight Myanmar and its Myanmar Olympic Committee the honours to host the 27th SEA Games.
The Wunna Theikdi Stadium will have the prestige of having ten Southeast Asian countries converge as they see their flags raised in the opening and closing ceremonies although most of the games will be held in Naypyityaw Sports facilities. The newly built stadium boasts a 30,000 audience capacity the biggest stadium to be constructed in Myanmar. It is quite understandable how the government and its people are excited about the event.
SEA Games History
The biennial games are participated by the current 11 nations of Southeast Asia. It owes its beginnings to the SEAP Games.
The founding countries were Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, South Vietnam and Cambodia. On May 22, 1958, the SEAP Games Federation Committee was organized and have proposed that the games should promote cooperation, understanding and strengthen the relations of the participating countries.
The very first SEAP Games was held in Bangkok, Thailand on December 12 to 17, 1959. The event got an overwhelming participation as 527 athletes competed for the winning medals.
It was not until the 8th SEAP Games when officials considered the invite to Brunei, Philippines and Indonesia and upon their admission in 1977, so did the committee change the name to SEA Games.
The biennial event was hosted by Indonesia last 2011 in its enormous Jakabaring Sports Center. Singapore will definitely be the host country after Myanmar in the 28th edition of the games.
Long believed as bringers of luck and prosperity, the Myanmar Olympic Committee decided to employ Shwe Yoe and Ma Moe to be the game’s official mascot. The golden owls holding each other’s ‘hands’ will encourage solidarity and friendship among competing athletes as they vie for the gold in the 33 different sports.
There will be 460 gold medals up for grabs, 460 silver and 637 bronze.
Myanmar organizers excluded dance sport and beach volleyball as they find the uniforms for women are a bit unsuitable for their conservative culture.
Participating countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, and of course, Myanmar.
The official theme song for the 27th games is up on Youtube showcasing the singing talents of Myanmar’s music industry. Composed by Linn Htet and sung by Htoo L Lin and Sone Thin Pa. The song “Colourful Garden of Sport and Beauty” encourages and welcomes people to the games and witness friendship amongst Asian countries.
See you at the 27th SEA Games!