European Games in Baku to be held at the highest level
Despite the difficult economic situation in the world, preparations for the first European Games, which will take place in Azerbaijan’s capital, are on schedule. The European Games will be held in Baku, on June 12 to 28, 2015. Two dozen leaders of various countries will attend the opening ceremony.
Azerbaijan's Minister for Youth and Sports, Azad Rahimov, promises that the Games will take place at the highest organizational level. He reminded that in December 2012 the European Olympic Committee, during its Assembly, decided to hold the first ever European Games. It was decided not to take applications, but to give Baku the opportunity to hold the Games. There was very little time, just two and a half years, so it was necessary to evaluate all the strengths and capabilities, and Baku agreed and found that it is possible this time to prepare everything necessary for Games to be held at the highest level.
The Organizing Committee was established, headed by the chairman of the president's Heydar Aliyev Foundation, member of the National Assembly, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva. The Organizing Committee includes all the structures of Azerbaijan which to some extent will be involved in conducting these Games.
In the organizing committee 1300 people work, including experts from abroad with experience of game organizing in London, Vancouver, Sochi and Athens.
The number of athletes that Baku expects to come is over 6000.The number of sports that will be presented is 20, 16 of them are Olympic sports.
All the necessary work on the construction of new facilities and renovation of existing ones is on schedule, everything will be finished by the end of February, at the latest in mid-March.
Volunteers will be involved in the Games. “A survey was conducted, 150,000 Azerbaijani students responded to the questions posed in the questionnaire. The questions were about whether they want to volunteer, whether they are interested in sports, what sports they are interested in, whether they are going to attend sporting events, and about the European Games. From this base, we have over 20 thousand young people who have expressed their desire to help with carrying out these Games,” Azad Rahimov stated.
Azerbaijan expects medals from their athletes in such sports as judo, wrestling, taekwondo, boxing, rowing, kayaking and canoeing, gymnastics. The minister is sure that Azerbaijani athletes will do their best in the Games: “Their result shouldn’t be less than the result which was achieved at the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing ... Azerbaijan is among 204 countries, as a European state it was in 10th place.”