2021 Southeast Asian Games

XXXI Southeast Asian Games
2021 SEA Games Logo.svg
Host cityHanoi, Vietnam and surrounding cities
Motto"For a Stronger Southeast Asia" (Vietnamese: Vì một Đông Nam Á mạnh mẽ hơn)[1]
Organizer(s) Vietnam
Nations participating11
Athletes participating5,467
Events526 in 40 sports
Opening ceremony12 May 2022
Closing ceremony23 May 2022
Officially opened byNguyễn Xuân Phúc
President of Vietnam
Officially closed byPhạm Minh Chính
Prime Minister of Vietnam
Athlete's OathVũ Thành An
Judge's OathPhan Thị Ngọc Linh
Torch lighterQuách Thị Lan
Main venueMỹ Đình National Stadium
(opening ceremony)
Hanoi Indoor Games Gymnasium
(closing ceremony)
WebsiteOfficial website

The 2021 Southeast Asian Games, officially known as the 31st Southeast Asian Games, or 31st SEA Games and also known as Vietnam 2021, was the 31st edition of the Southeast Asian Games, the biennial regional multi-sport event which was held in Hanoi, Vietnam and its surrounding cities from 12 to 23 May 2022.

Originally planned to take place from 21 November to 2 December 2021, it was eventually rescheduled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam.[2] Featuring 526 events in 40 different sports, the edition follows the sports played in the Olympics, massively rolling back events from the previous edition.[3] This was the country’s second time hosting the games, having previously done so for the 2003 edition. Vietnam had previously submitted a bid to host the 2018 Asian Games, but later withdrew due to financial restraints.[4]

The host country Vietnam emerged in the medal tally as the overall champions after nineteen years, recording 205 gold medals (the most by any country thus far) along with 125 silvers and 106 bronzes, accumulating 446 medals in total.[5] They were followed by Thailand and Indonesia, with the Philippines and Singapore rounding out the top five.[6]

Host selection

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City both submitted bids to host the games. While Ho Chi Minh City was initially favoured, Hanoi is later deemed to be the more suitable location due to its existing sporting infrastructure. This came after the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng ordered provinces and cities to not build new sporting facilities as a cost-saving measure, following the country's withdrawal from hosting the 2018 Asian Games due to financial restraints.[7][8]


According to Hanoi's submitted proposal to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), the city would spend 1.7 trillion VND ($77 million) on preparing and organizing the 2-week games running from late November to December. 97 billion VND ($4.3 million) is expected to be earned back from broadcast rights, advertisements, sponsors and other contributions.[9]

Ho Chi Minh City

In December 2017, Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Standing Committee of the Communist Party approved of the city's hosting proposal. According to the proposal, the direct cost for hosting the Games in the city is estimated to be 7.48 trillion VND ($330 million) with 6.6 trillion VND (US$290 million) to be spent on upgrading sports facilities and 904 billion VND ($40 million) on organizing costs. However, another 8.2 trillion VND ($360 million) is needed for the construction of Rach Chiec Sports Complex while an athletes' village will not be built. The Games would run for 12 days in mid-August and see 30-36 sports being contested. The provinces of Đồng Nai and Bình Dương would also host a portion of Games.[10]


On 9 July 2018, the Vietnamese government selected Hanoi as the host city of the 31st SEA Games and the 2021 ASEAN Para Games, which was later ratified by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on 13 November 2019.


Despite the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics in July 2021, the games were still planned to be held from late November to early December 2021, three months after the rescheduled Olympics. The 11th ASEAN Para Games were also to be held from 17 to 23 December 2021. Vietnam Television (VTV) and Voice of Vietnam (VOV) were appointed as the host broadcasters.[11] Originally scheduled to be held from 21 November to 2 December 2021,[11] the games were later postponed to 12 to 23 May 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam.[12]


Vietnam's SEA Games Organizing Committee (SEAGOC) was formed in April 2020 with the function of preparing, submitting and executing plans to stage the Games.[13]


The proposed budget allocated by the Vietnamese government for this edition of SEA Games was initially estimated to be 1.6 trillion VND (US$69.3 million). 980.3 billion VND (US$42.3 million) would be used for organizing costs while 602.3 billion VND (US$25.9 million) would be allocated for upgrades and repairs to facilities managed by MCST.[14] Provincial authorities are responsible for renovations to facilities under their management. Other than a new cycling track in Hòa Bình Province and a small tennis complex on Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Centre campus (handled by Hanoi People's Committee), no other sporting venue would be constructed for this edition.[14]

The organization revenue was expected to be 226.6 billion VND (US$9.7 million), with 136.6 billion VND coming from the delegates' accommodation fees and 65 billion VND from broadcast rights.[14]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam's budget for the Games was cut.[15] In January 2022, the Vietnamese government approved an organizing budget of 750 billion VND (US$32.8 million) for the Games.[16] On April 1, 2022, the Vietnamese government approved an additional budget of 449 billion VND (US$19.65 million) for the Games. The money was taken from the national budget for sports and physical training in 2022. Four ministries and central agencies were provided 378.3 billion VND, while Hanoi and 11 other provinces received an additional 70.7 billion VND.[17][18]


2021 Southeast Asian Games is located in Vietnam
Hanoi Region
Hanoi Region
Hải Phòng
Hải Phòng
Nam Định
Nam Định
Ninh Bình
Ninh Bình
Quảng Ninh
Quảng Ninh
Provinces that hosted 2021 Southeast Asian Games

While Hanoi was the main hub, several other surrounding provinces assisted in hosting portions of the games. Athletes and officials were housed in hotels near their competition venues. In the initial plan, a new tennis complex was planned to be built on Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Centre campus and a newly rebuilt Hàng Đẫy Stadium would host a group for men's football. Both of these projects faced development delays and difficulties and could no longer be completed in time for the games.[19] Consequently, the tennis venue was relocated to a newly-built private venue in Bắc Ninh Province, and Việt Trì Stadium hosted a men's football group alongside Thiên Trường Stadium during the group stage.[20]

My Dinh National Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies along with men's football and athletics events
Thiên Trường Stadium hosted a portion of men's football competitions
Quần Ngựa Sports Palace hosted all gymnastics events
Zone City/Province Venue Event(s) Capacity Ref.
Hanoi National Sports Complex
Mỹ Đình National Stadium Opening Ceremony, Men's Football Finals, Athletics 40,192 [21]
Mỹ Đình Aquatics Center Aquatics, Finswimming 5,700 [21]
Hanoi Indoor Games Gymnasium Fencing, Closing Ceremony 3,094 [21]
Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Centre
Palace of Culture Weightlifting, Bodybuilding [21]
Pétanque Boulodrome Pétanque [21]
Archery Field Archery [21]
Bắc Từ Liêm District Sporting Hall Pencak Silat 950 [21]
Cầu Giấy District Sporting Hall Wushu 858 [21]
Đan Phượng District Sporting Hall Jujitsu 525 [21]
Gia Lâm District Sporting Hall Wrestling 2,400 [21]
Hà Đông District Sporting Hall Billiards & Snooker 1,850 [21]
Hanoi National Sports Training Centre No. 1 Shooting [21]
Hoài Đức District Sporting Hall Judo, Kurash 2,000 [21]
Hoàng Mai District Sporting Hall Sepak takraw 1,000 [21]
Long Biên District Sporting Hall Dancesport 300 [21]
Quần Ngựa Sports Palace Gymnastics 5,500 [21]
Royal City Hanoi Bowling [21]
Tây Hồ District Sporting Hall Taekwondo 1,200 [21]
Thanh Trì District Sporting Hall Basketball 1,086 [21]
Sóc Sơn District Sporting Hall Vovinam 934 [21]
Vietnam National Convention Center Esports 3,747 [22]
Bắc Giang Bắc Giang Gymnasium Badminton 4,000 [23]
Bắc Ninh Bắc Ninh Gymnasium Boxing, Kickboxing 3,000 [21]
Bắc Ninh Sports University Gymnasium Handball 1,500 [21]
Hanaka Sports & Entertainment Center Tennis 3,000 [21]
Hà Nam Hà Nam Gymnasium Futsal 7,500 [21]
Hải Dương Hải Dương Sporting Hall Table Tennis 2,300 [21]
Hòa Bình TBA Cycling [21]
Vĩnh Phúc Vĩnh Phúc Sporting Hall Muay Thai 2,520 [21]
Đầm Vạc Golf Course Golf [21]
Phú Thọ Việt Trì Stadium Men's Football 16,000 [21]
Other venues
Thủy Nguyên Boat Racing Center Canoeing, Rowing N/A [21]
Thiên Trường Stadium Men's Football 30,000 [21]
Ninh Bình Province Sports Gymnasium Karate 3,040 [21]
Quảng Ninh Cẩm Phả Stadium Women's Football 16,000 [21]
Đại Yên Sports Arena Volleyball 6,105 [21]
Quảng Ninh Exhibition Palace of Urban Planning & Expo Chess [21]
Tuần Châu Beach Beach volleyball, Beach handball [21]
Tuần Châu Triathlon, Duathlon [21]
Yên Tử Legacy Resort Xiangqi [21]

Non-competition venues

Province/Municipality Venue Events/Designation
Hanoi Vietnam National Convention Center International Broadcasting Center (IBC)
Media Press Center (MPC)


The organizing committee planned to recruit around 3,000 volunteers for the Games with 2,000 of them based in Hanoi. In February 2022, SEAGOC started to work with local Hanoi colleges, mainly Hanoi University and Hanoi Open University to start the process. Applicants were required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.[24] Selected volunteers would receive orientation and training between March and April before being assigned to specific venues in April 2022.[25]

Torch relay

The torch relay was held 31 days prior to the opening ceremony, representing 31 editions of the Southeast Asian Games. The journey started at Hùng Temple in Phú Thọ Province on 11 April 2022, and had gone through all hosting provinces before arriving at the cauldron at Mỹ Đình National Stadium in Hanoi on 12 May 2022.[26]


The SEAGOC encouraged each provincial organizing committee to allow spectators to enter competition venues for free.[27] However, the decision to release and/or charge for tickets is ultimately dependent on each province. Hải Phòng and Quảng Ninh expressed interests in free entry for all spectators, with the latter being the largest cluster of venues outside of Hanoi. Meanwhile, Phú Thọ, the host for all of Vietnam's matches in men's football, has planned on selling tickets.[28]

The Games

COVID-19 regulations

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all athletes and officials entering Vietnam were required to have a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their departure. Within 24 hours of entry and of their respective event, participants would be tested again using rapid testing.[29]

If an athlete tests positive for COVID-19, they would be quarantined at their designated facility, or transported to a hospital in severe cases. For a positive case tested before their respective event, the NOC could replace the athlete with another one. However, if a positive case turns up while the event is still ongoing, the athlete can no longer participate and their results would be invalidated.[29]

Spectators did not have to show any negative test result to enter. However, the amount of spectators allowed at a venue depended on the local COVID-19 regulations at the time of competition.[29]

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony for the Games was held on 12 May 2022 - 20:00 (local time) at the Mỹ Đình National Stadium.[30][31] Merited artist, Vietnamese choreographer, Merited artist and head of the Vietnamese Department of Performing Arts Trần Ly Ly was the chief director of the ceremony, with record producer Huy Tuấn served as a music director. Only 31 athletes from each country participated in the parade of nations, as a preventive measure against COVID-19.[32]

3D mapping, virtual reality, augmented reality, extended reality and mixed reality were among the technologies used during the ceremony.[33] More than 1,000 actors were mobilized for the performance, with each smaller performance featured more than 200 actors and actresses. The stage is designed with 44 projectors for demonstrating projection mapping technology and the stadium pitch was turned into a display surface. In addition, the entirety of stand B in the stadium was used as the main stage.[34]

The ceremony, titled "Welcoming Southeast Asia", featured three main performances which included: Friendly Vietnam, Strong Southeast Asia, and Shining Southeast Asia. The stories of bamboo and wet rice culture, which represent the flexibility and resistance of the Vietnamese people and the lotus as the national flower, were among the elements featured in the ceremony.[35]

The first performance, “Friendly Vietnam”, shows the message that Vietnam is a country with a culture with its own identity and friendly with people from all countries of the world. The second performance, “Strong Southeast Asia”, demonstrates the strength of the ASEAN community. The third performance, “Shining Southeast Asia”, shows the strength of solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and ASEAN countries.[36][37]

Welcome, national flag and anthem

The ceremony began with the introduction of several dignitaries including Vietnamese President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, President of the National Assembly Vương Đình Huệ, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam and Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore Tan Chuan Jin to the audiences. Eight People's Army of Vietnam personnel carried the flag of Vietnam to the flagpole while performing Goose step and raised it to the Vietnamese national anthem – Tiến Quân Ca. At the end of the anthem, Virtual Reality image showed the flag of Vietnam flying at the top of the television screen from left to right, with stars shining in the sky.

Parade of Nations

Each delegation was led by a woman wearing a red Áo dài printed with floral pattern carrying an oval-shaped placard that bore the name of the delegation.

Order Nation Flag bearer Sport
1  Brunei (BRU)
(Brunei Darussalam)
Anisah Najihah Abdullah[38] Pencak silat
2  Cambodia (CAM) Jessa Khan Jujitsu
3  Indonesia (INA) Emilia Nova Athletics
4  Laos (LAO) Soulasith Khamvongsa[39] Pétanque
5  Malaysia (MAS) Nur Dhabitah Sabri Diving
6  Myanmar (MYA) Aung Tun Min Sepak takraw
7  Philippines (PHI) Ernest John Obiena Athletics
8  Singapore (SGP) Sheik Farhan Pencak silat
9  Thailand (THA) Suvijak Khunthong Jujitsu
10  Timor-Leste (TLS) Ana Da Costa Taekwondo
11  Vietnam (VIE) Nguyễn Huy Hoàng Swimming

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony for the Games was held on 23 May 2022 - 20:00 (local time) at the Hanoi Indoor Games Gymnasium.[40] A total of up to 580 sqm of indoor LED display screens were installed on the stage for the ceremony.[41] The ceremony, titled "Coming together to shine", featured three main performances which included: ‘My Hanoi, your love’, ‘Gathering’ and ‘Shining’ to mark the rejuvenation of sports in the Southeast Asian region after being halted since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Athletes Nguyen Thi Oanh (Vietnam), Joshua Robert Atkinson (Thailand), Nguyen Huy Hoang (Vietnam), and Quah Jing Wen (Singapore) were awarded the “Best Athletes Award” during the closing ceremony to commend their achievements during the games, breaking Southeast Asian Games records. The flag of the Southeast Asian Games Federation was eventually lowered and handed over to Cambodia, the host country of the 2023 edition.[42][43]

Participating nations

All 11 members of Southeast Asian Games Federation took part in the 2021 SEA Games. Below is a list of all the participating NOCs.

While Thailand and Indonesia were initially barred from using their national flags due to sanctions by the World Anti-Doping Agency,[44] the sanction was lifted on 3 February 2022.[45]


The 31st SEA Games featured 40 sports with 522 events.[46][47] 16 out of 40 sports, are those not included in the Olympic Games at the time the 31st SEA Games were held.

8 out of 40 sports were not included in both the Olympic Games and Asian Games at the time the 31st SEA Games were held: Bodybuilding, Chess, Dancesport, Kickboxing, Muay, Pencak silat, Pétanque and Vovinam. According to the SEAGF Charter and Rules, a host nation must stage a minimum of 22 sports: the two compulsory sports from Category I (athletics and aquatics), in addition to a minimum of 14 sports from Category II (Olympics and Asian Games mandatory sports), and a maximum of 8 sports from Category III.[48]

2021 Southeast Asian Games Sporting Programmes

indicates non-Olympics sports and disciplines


OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Gold medal events CC Closing ceremony
May Events
Ceremonies OC CC N/A
Diving 2 2 2 2 61
Finswimming 7 6
Swimming 7 7 7 6 7 6
Archery 5 5 10
Athletics 11 8 10 7 7 4 47
Badminton 2 5 7
Basketball Basketball pictogram.svg 5x5 Basketball 2 4
3x3 basketball pictogram.svg 3x3 Basketball 2
Billiards & snooker 3 1 1 1 2 2 10
Bodybuilding 3 4 3 10
Bowling 2 2 2 6
Boxing 11 11
Canoe/Kayak 2 4 4 4 5 19
Chessgames Chess 2 2 2 2 2 10
Xiangqi pictogram.svg Xiangqi 1 1 2 4
Cycling Mountain biking 2 2 1 5
Road cycling 2 2 1 2 7
Dancesport 6 6 12
Esports 3 1 1 1 4 10
Fencing 2 2 2 2 2 2 12
Football Football 1 1 4
Futsal 2
Golf 2 2 4
Gymnastics 2 2 5 5 2 2 3 21
Handball Indoor 2 3
Beach 1
Judo 2 4 3 3 1 13
Jujitsu 3 3 6
Karate 6 5 3 14
Kickboxing 12 12
Kurash 4 3 3 10
Muaythai 1 10 11
Pencak silat 6 10 16
Petanque pictogram.svg Pétanque 2 2 2 2 8
Rowing 4 4 8 16
Sepak takraw 2 2 2 2 8
Shooting 4 2 2 3 3 4 4 22
Table tennis 2 3 2 7
Taekwondo 5 5 5 4 19
Tennis 2 1 2 2 7
Duathlon / Triathlon pictogram.svg Triathlon 2 2 4
Volleyball Indoor 2 4
Beach volleyball pictogram.svg Beach 2
Vovinam 3 3 4 3 2 15
Weightlifting 3 4 4 3 14
Wrestling 6 6 6 18
Wushu 4 5 12 21
Daily Gold Medal Events 0 0 2 2 6 16 0 32 47 66 53 44 58 60 36 40 60 N/A 522
Cumulative total 0 0 2 4 10 26 26 58 105 171 224 268 326 386 422 462 522 N/A 522


Medal table

A total of 1760 medals, comprising 525 gold medals, 522 silver medals and 713 bronze medals were awarded to athletes. The host country Vietnam's performance was their best to date and also the best of any country at any games, and they also placed first overall and won the entire games.

  *   Host nation (Vietnam)

2021 Southeast Asian Games medal table[50]
1 Vietnam*205125116446
2 Thailand92103137332
3 Indonesia699181241
4 Philippines5270105227
5 Singapore474673166
6 Malaysia394590174
7 Myanmar9183562
8 Cambodia9134163
9 Laos273342
10 Brunei1113
11 Timor-Leste0325
Totals (11 nations)5255227141761


Official branding

On 30 August 2019, Vietnam Olympic Committee launched a nationwide contest to find the official logo, mascot, slogan, and song for both 31st SEA Games and 2021 ASEAN Para Games. The contest ran until 30 October 2019. The top 3 in each category were intended to be featured on a ballot and Vietnamese nationals could then vote for the winning creation.[51] On 20 October 2019, a mascot named after the canine character Vàng in Nam Cao's famous short story Lão Hạc was awarded People's Choice Award by the organizer.[52] On 26 October 2019, the final top 3 mascots, selected by an internal panel, were announced. These mascots took inspirations from various Vietnamese animals: the endangered species saola, the mythical creature "con nghê", and tigers. The selected designs were met with a negative reception by the Vietnamese public. The organizers later withdrew the announcement, stating that the designs were preliminary and would undergo further adjustments.[53] The reveal was then postponed to November 2019, and later indefinitely postponed.[54]

On 19 November 2020, the winning entries were announced.[55] No theme song was selected from the contest, with the organizing committee commissioning composer Quang Vinh, who previously penned the theme song "For the World of Tomorrow" (Vietnamese: Vì một thế giới ngày mai) for the 22nd SEA Games in 2003, to write a new theme song for this edition.[56]

The 31st SEA Games logo was designed by Hoàng Xuân Hiếu. Hiếu's logo is inspired by the combined images of a dove and a human hand to create the "V" shape,[57] representing the words "victory" and "Vietnam". This idea originates from the image of an athlete placing his hand on his left chest, singing the National Anthem before each sacred match. In addition, the bird's wings are a symbol of extraordinary will, desire to conquer and great sportsmanship.


Sao La is the official mascot of the 31st SEA Games 2022

The mascot of the 2021 Southeast Asian Games is Sao La, inspired by saola – a rare mammal native to central Vietnam. This design by Ngô Xuân Khôi defeated 557 other mascot submissions to emerge as the winner of the 2019 searching contest.[55]


"For a Stronger Southeast Asia" (Vietnamese: Vì một Đông Nam Á mạnh mẽ hơn) was chosen as the slogan of this edition. The slogan represents Vietnam's hope as ASEAN Chair 2020, for the region to develop further, and signifies the region's strive to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theme song

During the International Press Conference held on 28 February 2022, "Let's Shine" (Vietnamese: Hãy Tỏa Sáng), the official theme song of the 31st SEA Games, was revealed. The song was composed by Huy Tuấn and performed by Tùng Dương, Hồ Ngọc Hà, Văn Mai Hương, Isaac and Đen Vâu, and features lyrics in English and Vietnamese.[58][59][26]


There were four tiers of sponsorships for the 31st SEA Games. Diamond sponsors contributed more than 10 billion VND (US$438,000) in cash or 13 billion VND (US$569,000) worth of products or services. Platinum sponsors contributed 5-10 billion VND in cash or 8-13 billion VND worth of products or services. Gold sponsors contributed 3-5 billion VND in cash or 6-8 billion VND worth of products or services. Partnering sponsors contributed under 3 billion VND in cash, or under 6 billion VND worth of products or services.[60] Vietcontent was the main sponsorship agency of the Games.[61]

2021 Southeast Asian Games sponsors
Tier Sponsoring firms
Diamond Ajinomoto,[62] Động Lực, Heineken Asia Pacific (Bia Việt),[63] Jogarbola,[63] Sabeco Brewery (Bia Saigon),[64] Stavian Chemical,[65] Toyota, VNPT[66]
Platinum Digiticket,[65] Nestlé (Milo),[65] Truong Sinh Group[67]
Gold and partners Bao Viet Insurance,[67] Exmicror,[67] Hahalolo,[67] Hanaka Group,[67] Hero World Bowling & Games Center,[67] Heron Lake Golf Course & Resort,[67] Legacy Yen Tu – MGallery,[67] Medicon (TrueLine),[67] MW Jewelry, OrgaFood (MeoMask),[67] PepsiCo (Aquafina, Pepsi, Revive, SodaStream),[67] TikTok,[67] Tuan Chau Group,[67] TV360,[67] TVU Networks,[67] Vietravel Airlines[67]


Country Broadcaster(s) Ref
Indonesia [68]
Malaysia [69][70]
Philippines [71][72]
Singapore Mediacorp [73]
Thailand [74]
Vietnam VTV [75][76]


During the men's 4x100m freestyle relay in the swimming competition, both Singapore and Malaysia were disqualified after the two teams had won gold and silver, respectively. As a result of the disqualification, it pushed host Vietnam from bronze to gold. Official timing showed one of Malaysian swimmers had left the blocks at a changeover 0.12 seconds before the incoming swimmer had touched the wall, in comments reported by state news agency Bernama. Vietnamese swim coach Phan Quang Minh Quan told VnExpress: "This is something very difficult and sensitive in sport, but the digital machine detected the violations, not human, so it's fair."[77]

During the official weigh-in for the 48kg class in jujitsu, Jessa Khan, the defending champion and 2018 Asian Games gold medalist, was disqualified for being mere 240g over the weight limit. Under the rules of the Ju-Jitsu International Federation and the SEA Games Sports Technical Handbook, she would not be allowed to compete. The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) lodged a formal appeal with the event’s organising committee immediately after the weigh-in, asking that she be allowed to compete in the higher weight class of 62kg. The appeal was later denied.[78]



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External links

Preceded by
Southeast Asian Games
XXXI Southeast Asian Games (2021)
Succeeded by
Phnom Penh


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Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2022-05-31 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=46958728