Journey of Baku 2015 flame starts from Nakhchivan
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.27
The Baku 2015 flame will begin its journey in style as it takes to the skies to arrive at the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, one of the most ancient dwelling locations of Azerbaijan and the first destination of the Journey of the Flame.
Following its capture ceremony in Ateshgah yesterday where the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev lit the first torchbearer's flame, it will now embark on 48 days of consecutive travel to 60 locations in Azerbaijan.
Nakhchivan, a landlocked exclave, is no stranger to sporting events having previously hosted the Chess World Cup in 2003 and currently holds the traditional Nakhchivan Open for masters each year, as well as the annual Nakhchivan Cup - an International Wrestling Tournament.
The area may be reknowned as the homeland of the Former President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev but folklore tells us that the tomb of the Prophet Noah can also be found here and that there is evidence his arc visited the region.
The Festival of Fire taking place this evening promises to be a spectacular event with locals taking to the streets to join in the celebrations and cheer the ten torchbearers along their route as they carry the flame on its inaugural journey.
Polad Aliyev will commence running the 4.1km route before handing the flame to Afgan Gurbanov, the second of the torchbearers. Ibrahim Musayev. Kanan Asadov, Sahil Rusanov, Tural Gozalov, Farida Hanifayeva, Sakina Ibrahimova and Gulkhanim Jalilova will all run part of the relay with Khanim Khudadanova finishing up .
For further information on the Nakchivan Festival of Fire please visit the website on Baku2015.com/flame
Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place from 12 - 28 June 2015.
There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.
Twelve of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Those sports include Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Judo, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Volleyball and Wrestling.
Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organise and run the Games in cooperation with the EOC.
In Azerbaijan, Baku 2015 will capture the flame from the earth on Sunday 26 April at Ateshgah, and travel nearly 5,500 km before the cauldron is lit at the Opening Ceremony on 12 June - 47 days later.
The Torch measures 660mm high. The body of the torch features a pomegranate tree, echoing the Baku 2015 brand. The copper head that protects the flame is also in the form of a pomegranate - its 50 pips representing the number of nations participating in the Games.
Furthermore, 150 production team members and 132 vehicles will participate in the Torch Relay. A total of 1,000 torchbearers have been selected for their connection to the regions and their support of the European Games. Baku 2015 celebrity ambassadors will attend the relay and regional events. Evening events / Festivals of Fire will be held at 15 locations- Nakhchivan, Lankaran, Jalilabad, Sabirabad, Horadiz, Guzanli, Berde, Genje, Shemkir, Mingechevir, Sheki, Gebele, Shamakhi, Guba, Gobustan. 44 smaller events / welcome ceremonies will take place in the remaining locations.
Further information can be found in the media guide which is available for download on http://www.baku2015.com/Document/Documents/Documents/03/50/71/Baku2015EuropeanGamesJourneyoftheFlame_English.pdf