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Guangzhou Asian Games Introduction

Asian Games

The Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games, or the XVI Asiad, as it is also known, will most likely follow the impressive pattern set by the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, i.e., the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games will most likely be a spectacular event. The event, which takes place later this fall (November 12th-27th), will also be the last of its kind, since the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), under whose auspices the Asiad is held, has decided to restructure the event, such that it will no longer be on the sweeping scale that it has developed into in recent years (the larger the event grows the more difficult it becomes to find a suitable host country, thus limiting the staging of the Asiad to only the largest member countries, which is of course not fair to the smaller member countries).

This does not mean that the current host intends to scale down the XVI Asiad – in fact, quite the contrary! Given that the current host is China and given that the XVI Asiad marks the end of an era, as it were, the Chinese hosts are most likely to make the XVI Asiad a sports celebration to remember, so if you are a diehard sports enthusiast, the place to be during the latter half of November of this year is decidedly Guangzhou!

In connection with the XVI Asiad, which, as indicated, is being arranged under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a torch relay is scheduled to take place beginning on October 9th, where the Olympic flame will be lit at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, then the Olympic torch will be relayed across the country to Guangzhou, as is the usual custom for IOC events.

The participating country list includes the 45 member countries of the OCA. It does not include Russia, even though Russia has territory bordering on the Pacific Ocean near both China and North Korea, both member countries of the OCA. Generally, any country that chooses to be listed with an Olympic Council other than the OCA will not be permitted to participate in the Asian Games. For example, Israel was formerly a member of the OCA, but after the Olympic incident in Berlin in 1972, Israel was barred on grounds of security (ahem!). Israel reapplied in 1982, but was rejected once again, whereafter Israel joined the Olympic Council of Europe and is now (naturally!) not qualified to participate in the Asian Games.

Opening and closing ceremonies naturally form a part of the official side of any Asiad, including this one. The opening and closing ceremonies are to be held on Haixinsha Island, which is a tiny, peanut-shaped island in the Pearl River Estuary located about 15 kilometers, as the crow flies, in a northwesterly direction up the estuary from the similarly tiny speck of an island where Humen Expressway crosses the estuary between the town of Nansha, on the west bank of the estuary, and the town of Humenzhen (zhen means "town"), on the opposite bank.

The first small island one comes to in this upstreams direction is situated about 3 kilometers up the estuary from Humen Expy, and is the site on which Panyu Rehab Hospital is located. Just above the island on which Panyu Rehab Hospital is located, the estuary widens out, with islands hugging both of its banks. The first island on the west bank of this swollen part of the estuary is kidney-shaped (in the form of a right, not a left, arc), with Huangge Ave N crossing it enroute to a smaller island to the right of this larger, kidney-shaped island (you might see this larger island labelled as "Dawan" or "Kengzi" if you're looking at a Google Map). Just above "Dawan"/ "Kengzi" is our target, the tiny, peanut-shaped (it arcs left, not right) island of Haixinsha.

The opening ceremony of the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games on Haixinsha Island begins precisely at 20:04 (8:04 PM) on the 12th of November. It will include some state-of-the-art pyrotechnics – and other highly secret, not-to-be-unveiled-in-advance stuff – that will knock your socks off, says the organizer and director, Chen Weiya, who served as the assistant director for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. There will be a conventional light show, plus a show that Chen describes as a "lightning show" (think of an electrical storm that shimmeringly lights up the clouds on a dark night). The latter show will commence at 21:42 (9:42 PM) sharp, says Chen, so you had better be in place at least by 21:41, so you can crane your neck skyward.

The closing ceremony will commence precisely at 20:06 (8:06 PM), plus or minus a few milliseconds, on the 27th of November and will consist of an operatic tribute to the diversity of Asian culture as well as the official flag handover to the South Korean organizers of the 2014 Asian Games, which will be held in the city of Incheon.

Venues and Schedule of Guangzhou Asian Games

Sports Venue Location Date
Aquatics Three Venues
  • Swimming: Guangdong Olympic Aquatic Center, GOSC (see "Archery" above for directions to the GOSC).
  • Synchronized Swimming: Foshan Shijilian Aquatics Center, located in the suburb of Foshan, itself situated on the southwestern perimeter of Guangzhou (see maps).
  • Water Polo: Tianhe Natatorium, located in Guangzhou's Tianhe District in the eastern part of the city.
November 13rd-26th


Guangdong Olympic Archery Range

It is located within Guangdong Olympic Sports Center (GOSC), itself located in the town of Dongpu (Dongpuzhen) in Guangzhou's Tianhe District in the eastern part of the city. More specifically, GOSC is situated just northeast of the intersection of Ring Expy and Guangyuan Expy in the northeastern quadrant of the rectangular-like "ring" that is described by Ring Expy; GOSC is bounded by Daguan South Rd to the west and by Aoti Rd to the east (see maps).

November 19th-24th

More Venues and Schedule of Guangzhou Asian Games»

Introduction to Guangzhou

The city of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, is situated at the landward (northwestward) end of the Pearl River Estuary, the mouth of which estuary is flanked by the cities of Macau on the left/west and Hong Kong on the right/east. The city of Shenzhen, situated just north of Hong Kong, with its large, hypermodern international airport (Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport (SZX), about 110 kilometers southeast of Guangzhou), serves an alternative access point to Guangzhou, otherwise the main airport at Guangzhou is Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN), located about 35 kilometers north-northeast of the heart of Guangzhou.

Guangzhou is an ancient Cantonese city that was founded in BCE 214. It was the capital of the ancient Nanyue ("Southern" Yue) Kingdom, the Yue being a tribe that resided south of the area belonging to what is considered the heartland, or cradle, of Chinese civilization, or roughly the present-day province of Henan and all of its contiguous provinces. During what was considered the Middle Ages in Europe, the port city of Guangzhou was frequently raided and pillaged by pirates, both Arab and Persian pirates, and the nearby port city of Macau eventually became a Portuguese colony, while Hong Kong became a British colony.

Guangzhou is a beautiful, bustling port city that combines modern skyscrapers with rivers, canals and green parks in a way that is without parallel in China. There is little manufacturing here, though the city boasts a modern industrial park where high tech equipment is fabricated. Guangzhou thrives on its financial district, its real estate sector and its tourism. Much of the surrounding terrain is crisscrossed by waterways, since numerous upland rivers, including the Pearl River itself, empties into the estuary of the same name that leads to the South China Sea.

There are numerous tourist sites in and around Guangzhou, including a memorial to Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the George Washington (and Thomas Jefferson) of China, recognized and respected by Chairman Mao himself. But the city of Guangzhou, with its greenery, its many waterways and its mild climate, is a great place to stroll about and to just relax after shopping and dining to one's heart's content. More About Guangzhou

Top Places to Visit in Guangzhou

Night Cruise along the Pearl River

Night Cruise along the Pearl River

Pear River is the fourth longest river of China. Many famous sights are clustered along the river and are the reasons for many people taking a trip to Guangzhou.

Chen Ancestral Shrine

Chen Ancestral Shrine

With an architectural design and decoration in traditional Guangdong style, the temple is especially renowned for its beautiful craftsmanship.

Yuexiu Park

Chen Ancestral Shrine

The Park has been well known for the beautiful hills and waters and plenty of historical relics that you can enjoy at ease in the park.

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Chen Ancestral Shrine

It is a symbolic construction in Guangzhou. And it is also an important place for large-scale meetings and performances.