The 31st edition of the Southeast Asian Games begins in two days — and we all can’t wait to witness the region’s most talented athletes show what they’ve got. Hanoi, which plays host to the biggest regional sports event, is now all pumped up to welcome thousands of athletes and spectators.
With a slogan “For a stronger Southeast Asia,” this year’s event serves as a powerful start for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, having been postponed in 2021 and shrouded by doubts in the past months.
The SEA Games, taking place from 12 to 23 May, features 40 sports across 526 events and counts on the participation of 5,467 athletes from 11 different nations.
Finishing touches are now being done at My Dinh Stadium for the opening ceremony. The center stage has been cleared up for the parade, and at least 44 projectors have been installed for visual and light performances.
Around Hanoi, streamers of the event are adding to the excitement. It’s been two years since the capital city expected to see large crowds. The Vietnamese government and all relevant agencies assure that health, safety, and security will be of priority during the sporting event.
The energy is also high among small shops near the venue, as vendors look forward to a boost in sales as the crowd starts to gather this week.
The shop owner of “Amazing Hanoi" predicts, “SEA Games will help increase the sales as there will be groups of athletes or logistics team coming to visit and buy souvenirs.”
Beyond Hanoi, 11 other provinces — Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Ha Nam, Hai Duong, Hai Phong, Hoa Binh, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Phu Tho, Quang Ninh, and Vinh Phuc — will also be serving as competition venues.