22nd Asian Athletics Championship
By Garima Grover
Odisha tells its story at the spectacular AAC Opening Ceremony held on 5th July, 2017 at Bubhaneswar's pride Kalinga Stadium. Beginning even late, they knew how to keep you entertained. The ceremony kicked off with performances by local Ollywood Artists like NavyaJaiti, and followed was the march by teams. Flew balloons in the air marking the opening of AAC and event acts. The event was flagged off by Honourable Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik.
Other dignitaries including Shri Chandra SarthiBehera, Hon'ble Minister of Sports and Youth Services, Govt of Odisha, Lord Sebastian Coe, President, International Association of Athletics Federation, General Dahlan Al-Hamad, President, Asian Athletics Association, Mr. AdilleSumariwala, President, Athletics Federation of India, Shri Aditya Prasad Padhi, Chief Secretary, Shri Injeti Srinivas, Secretary, Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India and R. Balakrishnan, IAS, DC-CUM-ACS, Government of Odisha were also seen at the opening ceremony.
The word Kalinga makes an appearance generously in the daily lives of the people of Odisha, and the opening ceremony for the Asian Athletics Championships took them on a journey that was visual as well as auditory.And how better to tell the story of Odisha: the iconic Konark Temple doesn't only hold significance in its actual existence, but the role that the sun plays as a witness to history, which made it the perfect sutradhar.
The journey of Odisha – right from the Kalinga war during the reign of emperor Ashoka, to the spread of Buddhism in the region and its subsequent modernity was told through various dance forms. The narrative followed Odisha's landmark history; right from its ancient temples to its pristine coastline, from its mighty rulers to their penance, from its beautiful simplicity to its fierce ambitions, all aspects were displayed through dance and art forms, some of them intrinsic to the region. Famed Odissi dancer ArunaMohanty and Shankar Mahadevan headlined the celebrations amongst more than 800 participants that included dance groups from the region.