Asian Games - held in China Sept 2023.
The opening crowd, and outside observers, were very confused.
AP News: Lots of dignitaries but no real fireworks — only electronic flash — as the Asian Games open
The opening ceremony of the Asian Games on Saturday in China offered all the staples of a major international sports event.
Dignitaries greeted General Secretary Xi Jinping, fans packed the 80,000-seat Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou to capacity, and many of the 12,417 participants from 45 nations and territories paraded to officially open the two-week show.
By comparison, next year’s Paris Olympics will field about 10,500 competitors.
One big thing, however, was missing: real fireworks, the exploding kind that smell of power and burnt fuses.
The loudest cheers were for the Chinese delegation, but Taiwan, North Korea and Hong Kong were also welcomed warmly. There were no audible jeers for any delegation.
Delayed for a year by the pandemic, the Asian Games are China’s largest sports event since the country scrapped its zero-COVID-19 policy early in the year.
International Olympic Committee President Bach is in a political tussle over the governance of the Olympic Council of Asia and is also believed to be lobbying Xi against supporting any breakaway multi-sport games sought by Russian President Vladimir Putin with Russia likely being banned next year in Paris.
What the crowd saw. "Firework" show discussed at 1 minute mark