The sixth Asian Games were opened in Bangkok on Wednesday (Dec. 9) in a spectacular ceremony at the National Stadium.
The sixth Asian Games were opened in Bangkok on Wednesday (Dec. 9) in a spectacular ceremony at the National Stadium. Nearly 2,500 competitors and officials from 18 countries paraded around the stadium and then assembled before Thailand's King Bhumibol while he officially declared the Asian Olympics open.
A crowd of 25,000 waited in the warm sunshine for the King to arrive. Among the guests were the chairman of the International Olympic Committee, Mr. Avery Brundage, and the Thai Prime Minister, Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn.
After the king arrived, the teams paraded round the arena. Thailand had the biggest contingent and was led by a teenage beauty queen. Afghanistan withdrew from the Games a few weeks ago, but still sent a two-man team toe show the flag. Laos sent only one person, saying it was too preoccupied by internal security. War-torn Cambodia, which missed the last Games, sent a contingent dressed in military uniforms.
Hundreds of pigeons and balloons were released to signal the official opening. Soon afterwards, a Thai athlete burst into the stadium bearing a blazing torch to light the Asian Games flame. The torch-bearer, Preeda Chullamonthon (pronounced Pree-da-Choola-monton), is not used to running: he's a cyclist who won four gold medals at the 1966 Games.
The 1970 Asian Games end on December 20.