We are just days away from the 28th South East Asian Games which will be held in sunny Singapore from 5 – 16 June 2015! Excitement is building up here as we get ready to welcome 7,000 athletes and officials from 11 participating countries from the region. In the lead-up to the SEA Games, Water Chatter bring you 6 fun facts about the SEA Games!
#1: Singapore is SEA Games host for the fourth time
2015 will be the fourth time that Singapore plays host to the SEA Games – the games were previously held here in 1973, 1983 and 1993. Take a look at the evolution of our SEA Games branding through the years:
#2: The history of our old National Stadium is intertwined with the SEA Games
When Singapore played host to the SEA Games in 1973, can you believe it was actually the first time a major international sports event was ever held in Singapore! I imagine it must have been a pretty big deal back then! Singapore was actually asked to host the SEA Games earlier in 1971, but back then, we did not yet have the facilities for such an event. However, as the construction of the National Stadium at Kallang was nearing completion in 1971, Singapore decided to submit a bid to host the 1973 games. The old National Stadium may be gone, but in its place is the equally awe-inspiring Sports Hub where many of this year’s competitions will take place.
#3: Introducing new sports into competition is a hallmark of the Games
The SEA Games is unique in that there are no official limits to the number of sports which may be contested and the range may be decided by the organizing host, upon approval of the Southeast Asian Games Federation. Albeit for some core sports which must be featured, the host is also free to drop or introduce other sports. Some of the regional games introduced by the various host countries include silat, sepak takraw and chinlone (caneball). Floorball was also introduced by Singapore in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games and then was officially added in the 2015 edition.
#4: Who is the athlete with the most number of SEA Games gold medals?
As an island nation surrounded by water, it is no surprise that we tend to do well in water sports! Do you know that the athlete with the most number of gold medals in SEA Games history is a Singaporean? The great honour of this accolade goes to none other than Singapore’s swim queen legend Joscelin Yeo. Over eight SEA Games, Joscelin amassed a whopping 60 SEA Games medals, including 40 golds! Although she retired from competitive swimming in 2007, she still maintains active in the local swimming scene as the Vice President of the Singapore Swimming Association.
#5: The greatest secret of the Games: who will light the Cauldron
One of the most memorable things to look out for during the opening ceremony of the SEA Games is the lighting of the Cauldron. This year, the design of the cauldron will be extra special, to befit the grand celebrations of SG50. Who will join the ranks of legendary sprinter C Kunalan, former Olympian and national sprinter, the late Tan Eng Yoon and Singapore’s first world bowling champion Grace Young to light the SEA Games Cauldron? Stay tuned on 5th June to find out the answer to the SEA Games’ greatest secret!
#6: Water sports and many more will be featured
A total of 36 sports will be competed in this years’ SEA games, including plenty of water related ones such as canoeing, rowing and sailing! Do look out for the next Water Chatter article where we will introduce the water sports of the SEA Games 2015!
By Brooke Coventina