The spectacular opening ceremony of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Morodok Techo National Stadium on May 5 won the hearts of Cambodians and attending sport delegates, a prime ministerial statement said the following day.

“These SEA Games are a historic event for Cambodia after having waited for 64 years. All Cambodians are proud and thrilled to see this unprecedented spectacle make its way into history,” added the statement, which was posted to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s official Facebook page.

The statement thanked all Cambodians for making the magnificent event possible, calling for more support for the Games – which run until May 17 and are followed by the ASEAN Para Games in June – with shows of smiles, pride and national dignity.

“The event has touched the hearts of our people, sport delegates from participating countries, and national and international fans, keeping their eyes glued to the amazing performances, which give the world a slice of the history of our prosperous ancient Khmer ancestors along with the progress made in the current era,” Hun Sen was quoted as saying.

The 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games officially kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Morodok Techo National Stadium on May 5. Hong Menea

Kin Phea, director of International Relation Institute at Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that he was overjoyed to see the opening ceremony’s performances on TV “from start to finish”. He was ineffably proud to see that Cambodians “have made it”.

“We must all be united to support this source of national pride and magnificence, and ensure long-lasting peace,” he said in a Facebook post.

The event has also earned praise from critics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has honoured Hun Sen with a medal for his leadership in promoting sport as well as national and international Olympic movement.