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Indonesian President wows crowds at Asian Games Opening Ceremony

Is Indonesia's President a stunt rider in disguise?

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Laura Thomson's picture
Submitted by Laura Thomson on Mon, 20/08/2018 - 16:59

YOU’D BE FORGIVEN for thinking this was a movie trailer or even a motorcycle advert, but the reality is far more bizarre. In a world of serious and sour-faced politicians, Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, decided to mix things up a little for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games.

In a five-minute-long video, the 57-year-old is seen leaving his palatial home in a smart chauffeur-driven car.

When the cavalcade gets stuck behind a group of sports fans he decides to take matters into his own hands, requisitioning a Yamaha FZ1 from one of his security detail and, quite literally, leaping into action.

After jumping over a conveniently placed ramp he speeds through traffic and back streets, performing a stoppie before stopping to let a group of schoolchildren cross the road – ever the campaigning politician.

Flanked by police motorcycles the ‘President’ rides into Jakarta’s main stadium, much to the delight of spectators. The seemingly unruffled Widodo then opened the Games on Saturday evening.

It’s a very well choreographed stunt, and one that paints the President in a superhero-esque light. But while Widodo is a self-confessed motorcycle fan who is often seen on two wheels, sceptical viewers have questioned how much, if any, of the stunt was performed by Indonesia’s leading man.

Meanwhile, an opposition politician claimed Widodo was just using the ceremony to curry favour with young voters ahead of next year’s elections.

Rachland Nashidik, deputy secretary general of the opposition Democrat Party, shared a number of tweets dissecting and criticising the stunt.

But none of that matters to his citizens, who appear to love the clip - the president’s dash across the city has amassed more than a million views across various YouTube channels, and the hashtags #proudtobeindonesian and #stuntman soon began trending in the Southeast Asian country.

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