Catholic youths were honored and proud to have participated in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games, which concluded on May 17 in Cambodia.
"I want to help and be a small part of this great historical event." Said Phon Punleu, a 20-year-old among 7000 young people who volunteered for the SEA Game 2023.
"The government needs many volunteers to help, especially to make the athletes feel at home," said Punleu, whose task was to direct visitors to their seats and assist athletes if they required assistance.
Twelve thousand athletes from South East Asia competed in the 2023 SEA Games, which was hosted in Cambodia from 5 to 17 May under the theme "Sport Lives in Peace."
Punleu said that the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games are a means for Cambodia to demonstrate its generosity to the world. He said that"everything was given freely to them".
Another Catholic volunteer in the SEA Games, Sok Keoratana, expressed his feeling of happiness, saying he was thrilled to participate in the program because all the artists and performances were performed with high-tech equipment, which he had never seen in the country before.
"This is the first international event that Cambodia has waited for 64 years, and this is a historical ceremony, so I want to be in and help with this." Said Keoratana.
"These international games make Cambodia well known to the world that we have potential, ability, and peace; we also support the spirit of sport, said Keat Langko, 27, a Phnom Penh resident.
She continued, "In the name of the Cambodian people, I am very proud that Cambodia hosted this program for the first time, which was excellent."
Langko, a home-based supporter, said she did not attend in person but viewed the event online. She observed that people's knowledge and interest in sports were growing. In addition, this program enticed more domestic and foreign travelers to visit the numerous sites that have made Cambodia famous worldwide.
Hun Sen, the prime minister of Cambodia, thanked the ten nations whose athletes participated in these SEA Games during the closing ceremony.
Cambodia's successful and historic hosting of the SEA Games 2023 occurred after seven years of preparations for infrastructure development and capacity building of athletes, as well as when the country enjoyed complete peace, political and social stability, safety, security, order, economic growth, and development across all domains.
Vietnam has the most medals, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Brunei, and Timor-Leste.
Morodok Techo National Stadium was constructed on 31 August 2017 and was completed in January 2019. It was inaugurated on 18 December 2021 at a total cost of 160 million USD, which China donated. This stadium holds 60,000 people.
After the ceremony, the Cambodian officer presented the SEAGF flag to Thailand, which will host the 33rd Southeast Asian Games in 2025. - Kagnha Keo
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