Premier welcomes triumphant return of Taiwan delegation from Asian Games

  • Date: 2018-09-04
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te on Tuesday attended a banquet to welcome home Taiwan’s delegation to the 2018 Asian Games, which closed in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on September 2. The premier praised the athletes’ outstanding performance, the second best in the nation’s history of Asian Games participation, and encouraged the competitors to continue training for a repeat victory at the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo.

With a total medal count of 67—17 gold, 19 silver and 31 bronze—Taiwan placed seventh among this year’s 45 competitor nations. This ranking jumped to second place overall when calculated in terms of gold medals per capita.

Naming the returning athletes national heroes, Premier Lai congratulated delegation members for their years of dedicated preparation and many stunning achievements at the games. Although most could only watch from home, the hearts of Taiwan’s sports fans were with the athletes as they competed in Indonesia, said the premier.

Heartfelt thanks were also in order for the coaching staff, medical personnel and other supporting units who accompanied the competitors from beginning to end, through qualification trials, training, and finally the games themselves, said Premier Lai. Led by Director-General Kao Chin-hsung of the Ministry of Education’s Sports Administration, this body of dedicated professionals from the National Sports Training Center and the Republic of China Sports Federation were invaluable to the athletes’ success.

The national team put on a standout performance at the Asian Games, bringing home gold medals in archery, artistic gymnastics, badminton, canoeing, shooting and taekwondo, among other events. The athletes reminded the world that while Taiwan may be a small nation, it is indeed beautiful and strong, the premier said.

Thanks to support from the Legislature, the government has amended the National Sports Act and the Sports Industry Development Act to raise coaches’ pay, provide performance-based bonuses, and offer increased compensation for athletes, the premier said. Over the next 10 years, the government will put NT$6.4 billion (US$208.4 million) toward incentive awards as well as education and employment assistance for athletes.