Indonesia Announces ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023 to Reinforce Bid to Host 2036 Summer Olympics

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The Indonesia Olympic Committee has announced that the country will be holding the second edition of the World Beach Games, the ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023. The event will be held in Bali, Indonesia, from August 5th to 12th. The sports covered in the event are aquathlon, beach handball, beach soccer, beach tennis, beach volleyball 4 x 4, beach water polo, beach wrestling, individual kata, open water swimming 5 km, 3 x 3 basketball, air badminton, surfing, beach sprint rowing, and wingfoil racing. The first edition of the ANOC World Beach Games was held in Doha, Qatar. As the event is held every two years, the next edition was scheduled to be held in 2021 but was canceled due to the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. By holding this event, the Indonesian Olympic Committee is hoping to reinforce its bid to host the 2036 edition of the Summer Olympics in Indonesia.

With its focus on more casual, non-Olympic sports that appeal to the youth, participation in the event offers countries a chance to connect with new athletes and a new generation of sports fans. It is the only global youth-centric festival of beach, water, and action sports.

Said Raja Sapta Oktohari the President of the Indonesia Olympic committee, “Indonesia successfully hosted the Asian Games in September 2018 and the Asian Para Games in October. By now hosting the ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023 in August, we are hoping to build further on this success and draw tourists from all over the world to make Indonesia the destination of choice. It was when I was appointed as the chef de Mission for the 2016 Summer Olympics that was held in Rio that I realized the major economic impact that sports could have on the economy of a country. I am an avid sportsman, but I am also a businessman at heart, and hosting events like the Beach Games and the Olympics will help Indonesia to recover faster from the effect that the pandemic had on the inflow of tourists into the country. When I was a participant in the Rio Olympics, I understood that even though Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world with 234 million people at the time, we could only send 28 athletes as part of our contingent. But when the event comes to Indonesia, all the athletes from 200 plus nations, their supporters, and many other foreign tourists would come to Indonesia, thus transforming the economy as a whole.”

Raja has an extensive background in sports promotion. Born to Oesman Sapta Odang, a prominent businessmen in Indonesia, and as a family, they had a keen interest in several sports including karate, boxing, cycling, and diving. After serving as the President of the Indonesian Cycling Federation, he moved on to progressively senior roles in sports advancement, including stints as the Chef de Mission of the Indonesian delegation to the Rio Olympic Games and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the Indonesian Asian Para Games 2018 which were conducted very smoothly. Running his own businesses in several sectors he was the youngest boxing promoter in the world at the time and was awarded four times, the best boxing promoter in Indonesia by three different governing bodies, WBA, WBC, and IBO.

Currently, he is working closely with Indonesian president Joko Widodo who has announced during the 2022 G20 Summit in Bali, the aim of the country to host the 2036 Olympics in the new capital city of Nusantara. As President of the Indonesia Olympic Committee, it is Raja’s duty to see above all that the standards of the sporting landscape and ecosystem in Indonesia rises to the global standards befitting an event of the stature.

According to Raja, it is all about value creation. Just like the value of a product or service increases many times when it is exported as a finished product and not as raw materials, the value of participation in the Olympics increases when a country becomes the host country. The entire country is drawn into the Olympic Games whilst preparing to host such an event with numerous people applying to become volunteers, stadiums being built, and infrastructure being ramped up.

Concluded Raja, “Our ability to host such events has improved successively through the years. We were third-place in the medal tally at the 2022 SEA Games in Vietnam. The capability of our own athletes and coaches has improved significantly. We are known for our hospitality. President Widodo has been encouraging us to host and promote as many global sporting events as possible in Indonesia and we have been progressively stepping up our organizational capabilities. The ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023 will serve as a platform for us to showcase the tourism potential of not just Bali, but all the other beautiful parts of Indonesia. These include Komodo Island which is known as the only place in the world that serves as home to the famous Komodo dragon and the island of Papua which probably has the largest coral garden in the world.”

Alongside the Games, a Food and Tourism Expo will also be held to showcase Indonesian cuisine, traditional handicrafts, and different aspects of Indonesian culture.

About Indonesian Olympic Committee
The Indonesian Olympic Committee is a national non-profit organization that manages the country’s participation in International sports events like the Asian Games, Asian Para Games, the Beach Games and is now managing the bid for the 2036 Summer Olympics. The Indonesian Olympic Committee was established independently and later became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 11 March 1952.

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