From Mrapen, Asian Para Games flame set to begin nationwide tour

The countdown to the 2018 Indonesia Asian Para Games is on the go with the lighting of its sacred flame is set to take place in Mrapen, Central Java on September 5, 2018 before making a journey to other cities.

The flame-lighting ceremony will mark the kickoff of the 2018 Indonesia Asian Para Games Torch Relay, which involves several big cities that represent archipelagic nature of Indonesia, namely Solo, Ternate, Makassar, Denpasar, Pontianak, Medan and Pangkal Pinang before ending its journey in Jakarta.

The Mrapen eternal flame lit the torch for the first Ganefo Games in 1963, the torch for the National Sports Competition (PON) in 1996, and the 2018 Asian Games. The sacred flame is also a source of flames for religious rituals, especially for Buddhists.

The eternal flame will be stored in a lantern and carried out to the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) office on Jl. Ir. Sutami in Solo using a motorised vehicle. The torch will then travel throughout Jl. Ir. Djuanda in a golden carriage, locally known as kereta kencana. Three athletes will get into the action to travel with the flame and transfer it to the Solo’s City Hall.

The three designated athletes are the China Open gold medalists from track and field, Rizal Bagus Saktyono and Jaenal Aripin and the 2015 and 2017 ASEAN Para Games gold medalist Nanda Mei Sholihah. They will be accompanied by several dignitaries, including Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister, Puan Maharani, and Mayor of Solo, FX Hadi Rudyatmo.

The torch will be transferred to Ternate, a city that represents the eastern part of Indonesia, where the 2018 PON takes place on Sept. 9. According to the plan, the torch will be handed over to President Joko Widodo during the opening ceremony of the national sporting event at the Kie Raha Stadium.

Chairman of the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games Organising Committee, Raja Sapta Oktohari, said the committee has entered final preparation and Indonesia is ready to host the event.

“We will start our final phase with torch relay ceremony on Wednesday. When the lantern is lighted with the eternal flame from Mrapen, it marks the beginning of the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games,” said Okto, on Tuesday.

“This is a historical moment for Indonesia as it is the first time Indonesia is hosting the Asian Para Games. Let’s spread it to the world. We have to show that Indonesia is a friendly place for people with impairment.”

Regional heads of each city will receive the torch to store it for a night at their respective city halls.

To further enliven the spirit of Asian Para Games, the 2018 Indonesia Asian Para Games Organising Committee (INAPGOC) will organise Paralympian Festival involving Indonesian Paralympics athletes and communities that empower people with disabilities in each of the cities.

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