The Hangzhou Asian Games Village was inaugurated here on Saturday, with the Olympic Council of Asia's interim director general, Vinod Kumar Tiwari, calling it "beautiful and outstanding" during the opening ceremony.
Tiwari stated in front of government authorities and Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee executives that he had been visiting Hangzhou for eight years and had always been impressed with the plans and preparations for the 19th edition of the big event.
He lauded the village's "innovative" concept, which will house 20,000 people in three communities: Athletes' Village, Media Village, and Technical Officials' Village.
"Now, just one week before the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games on September 23, I can see all your dreams have become reality – and we are standing here together in a truly magnificent Asian Games Village," he said.
"I would like to thank and congratulate HAGOC for all their hard work and dedication, and I wish all success to the Chinese delegation competing here in the 19th Asian Games."
He went on to say that by housing athletes, authorities, technical officials, and media, the Asian Games Village demonstrated the solidarity and togetherness of the Asian Olympic movement and that it was the first of its sort in the history of the Asian Games and even the Olympic Games.
"The OCA is confident that all the guests will receive five-star treatment in terms of accommodation, dining, transportation and leisure activities," he added.
"We believe the quality of life in the Asian Games Village can lay the foundations for a smooth and successful Hangzhou Asian Games."
Yao Gaoyuan, Mayor of Hangzhou and Vice President and Secretary General of HAGOC; Li Huolin, Director of the Standing Committee of the Hangzhou Municipal People's Congress and Mayor of the Asian Games Village; and Sun Xudong, Vice Mayor of Hangzhou and Executive Mayor of the Asian Games Village were among the VIP guests.
The second goal of the ceremony was to welcome the Chinese delegation into the Asian Games Village as the first of a series that would last until September 22.
The event began with a gift exchange, followed by a photo opportunity with the athletes.
The celebration featured a children's song and dance performance, drums, and a lion dance, and the beating of gongs signalled the opening of the hamlet.
(With PTI inputs)