Baku, Azerbaijan, May 9
Baku 2015 European Games today held a successful test event at the brand-new Olympic Stadium, which will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies during the Games, as well as the Athletics competition, according to Baku 2015 European Games Communications Team press release.
The event was part of a wide range of training exercises and tests which Baku 2015 has undertaken in recent months to ensure operational readiness and allow teams to experience the reality of Games-time operations in advance of the Opening Ceremony.
The event was attended by 15,000 Baku 2015 Flamekeepers and BEGOC staff, allowing the opportunity to practise city-wide transport, spectator and VIP movements, ticketing systems, security arrangements and overall coordination of the Games.
Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: "This was a great opportunity to thank our Flamekeepers for the important contribution they will make to the inaugural European Games by giving them the first glimpse inside the magnificent new Olympic Stadium. It was also very useful from an operational point of view, ensuring that we are fully prepared to deliver world-class Games next month."
Participants were also treated to entertainment and performances from Baku 2015 Celebrity Ambassadors, including singer Tunzale who performed her song Baku Smiles, which was specially written for the Games.
Mr Gavin McAlpine, Director of Operational Capability and Readiness at Baku 2015, added: "Events such as this help us to build competence and confidence across the organisation and with our partners ahead of the Games.
"Building the capability of people to stage world class events is a valuable legacy of the European Games for our host country, which has not undertaken anything on this scale before. All eyes will be on Baku next month, and our preparations will help the Games to showcase Azerbaijan's professionalism for visitors from Europe and beyond.
"With 34 days to go, it is extremely rewarding to see how far we have come in such a short time. Through our ground-breaking Games Academy initiative, we have fast-tracked the development of a generation of young professionals, many of whom were still studying when Baku was awarded the Games, and are now performing key roles throughout the organisation."
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. Almost 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.