Organized athletic events in Asia were underway at a regional level from before the turn of the 20th century, set up by missionaries and Christian groups like the YMCA, and formalized as the Far Eastern Championship Games between 1913 and 1934.

After peace returned to the Pacific region with the end of WWII, the Asian Games were founded, opening in Delhi in 1951 and characterized as a symbol of peaceful Asian cooperation at a time of Cold War tensions and sometimes violent de-colonization.

Stefan Huebner (National University of Singapore) is an expert on colonialism, development policy, and sport in Asia. He is the author of Pan-Asian Sports and the Emergence of Modern Asia, 1913-1974.

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