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Asian Games

History: The idea of the Asian Games was first conceived by Prof. G.D. Sondhi. The suggestion for holding the Asian Games was first made in a conference of Asian countries held in New Delhi in 1947 and Jawaharlal Nehru suggested that it be called ‘Asian Games’. The first Asian Games were held at New Delhi in March 1951. Since then Asian Games are held after every four years.
Background: First held as West Asian Games at New Delhi in 1934 in which India, Afghanistan, Palestine and Sri Lanka participated. In view of the enthusiasm it was decided to hold these games once in four years at mid-point between the Olympics. However, these games were abandoned during World War II. It was Prof. Gurudutt Sondhi, a member of the IOC encouraged by the sport-lover Maharaja Yadvendra Singh of Patiala and supported by Pandit Nehru, tried to revive these games at the Asian Relations Conference (ARC) convened by Pt. Nehru at New Delhi in 1947. The Asian Atheletic Federation (AAF) was formed in 1948 which decided to hold the first Atheletic Championship at New Delhi in 1949. However, the plan did not materialise. Again in February 1949, the AAF met at New Delhi where it was renamed as ‘Asian Games Federation’ (AGF). The AGF then decided to rename the Asian Atheletic Championship as ‘Asiatic Games’. Subsequently Pt Nehru suggested that these games be called ‘Asian Games’. The first President and Secretary of AGF were Maharaja Yadvendra Singh of Patiala and Prof. G.D. Sondhi respectively.
MOTTO, EMBLEM AND TORCH OF ASIAN GAMES
The AGF adopted ‘Ever Onward’ given by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru as the motto of the Asian Games. The Emblem is a bright full rising sun with interlocking rings. The Maharaja of Patiala (Yadvendra Singh) presented a Torch and a flag for the first Asian Games and since then they have been carried from country to country.
First Asian Games : The first Asian Games were held in 1951 at the National Stadium, New Delhi, and was inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad (first President of India). About 489 participants from 11 different nations participated in the Games.
Nations which Participated in the First Asian Games : Afghanistan, Burma, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Nepal, Phillippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Sports Played in the First Asian Games: Athletics, swimming, diving and waterpolo, cycling, weightlifting, football and basketball.
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s Message to the Participants of the First Asian Games : “Play the game in the spirit of the game.”