Cambodia wants the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to recognize SEA Games 32 as the only multi-sports event in history to cover its participating nations’ expenses.
General secretary of SEA Games 32 Organizing Committee Vath Chamroeun said Cambodia would prepare a specific report on the matter and send it to the IOC, as well as the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Cambodia wants the SEA Games 32 to be recorded in the history of IOC and OCA as an unprecedented sports event.
Chamroeun said ancient Olympic history dates back more than 2,000 years in Greece when all sports delegations were provided free meals and transportation. But since the modern Olympics began in Greece in 1896, all participating countries have had to pay for their expenses. Since then, this has become the norm at sporting events.
The 2023 SEA Games host Cambodia turned this year’s games into a completely free sports event.
Spectators had free access to the opening and closing ceremonies as well as all competitions.
The broadcasting rights for the event were free.
The delegations also did not need to pay any participation fees, which are normally about $50 per person a day. These costs can amount to millions of dollars, but Cambodia refused to accept payment.
SEA Games 32 took place from May 5 to 17 and it was considered a remarkable success by its host nation.
Cambodia won 81 gold medals, 74 silver and 127 bronze medals, all of which were national records for the event. This is also the first time Cambodia ranked as high as fourth overall in the medal tally.
The host’s score was behind Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.
Cambodia also focused on promoting its image by creating a colorful and well-organized opening ceremony. The host compared the opening ceremony on May 5 to Olympic standards.