Prime Minister Hun Sen noted that while this year’s 32nd SEA Games were now over, the honour and dignity it brought to Cambodia will last for 100 years.
“Money may have been spent, but the fame and prestige of the nation is priceless, and will persist,” he said, while addressing a May 18 graduation ceremony for medical students.
“The newfound fame of Cambodia is significant. It will remain for far more than mere days or years, but for a century,” he added, noting that the games had been free of any serious incidents.
Cambodia spent $118 million on preparing and organising the 32nd SEA Games. The figure includes $7 million that was allocated for the food and accommodation of the athletes and sporting delegations from the ten participating guest nations.
The Kingdom became the first host nation to provide complementary food and accommodation.
The games became known as the ‘free’ SEA Games, as not only were guests provided with housing and meals, but no fees were levied for international broadcasting rights – another first – and admission to all events was free of charge.
Hun Sen also recalled the largest previously held international sporting tournament in the Kingdom – the Games of New Emerging Forces (GANEFO) – which were held in Phnom Penh in 1966, and are still fondly remembered.