The Asian Games, also called the Asiad, is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The games are regulated by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) under the supervision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Medals are awarded in each event, with gold for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition which started in 1951.
Competitors are entered by a National Olympic Committee (NOC) to represent their country of citizenship. National anthems and flags accompany the medal ceremonies, and tables showing the number of medals won by each country are widely used. In general only recognised nations are represented, but a few non-sovereign countries are allowed to take part. The special case of Taiwan was handled by having it compete as Chinese Taipei, due to the political status of Taiwan.
The first Asian games were held at New Delhi in 1951, which again hosted it in 1982.
The 15th Asian Games were held in Doha, Qatar from December 1 to December 15, 2006. The 16th Asian Games will be held in Guangzhou, China from November 12, 2010 to November 27, 2010.
The 2010 Asian Para Games will debut shortly after the conclusion of the 16th Asian Games, using the same facilities and venue made disability-accessible. The inaugural Asian Para Games, the parallel event for athletes with physical disabilities, is a multi-sport event held every four years after every Asian Games.