Baku, Azerbaijan, May 15
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
The attendance of around two-thirds of the IOC membership at the Baku 2015 opening ceremony will underline the importance of the inaugural European Games, Pat Hickey, the chief of the European Olympic Committee (EOC) said, aroundtherings.com reported.
"It is particularly gratifying that so far 70 IOC members have confirmed their attendance at the Baku 2015 Opening Ceremony on 12 June," he said.
Hickey's comments came after a meeting of the EOC Executive Committee in Belek, Turkey on May 15.
"The European Games concept has clearly earned real buy-in as a valuable addition to the sports calendar, not just within Europe but across the Olympic Movement," Hickey said.
Officials were updated on the state of Baku's European Games preparations by the EOC evaluation team led by Spyros Capralos. The ExCo also finalized the EOC's Baku 2015 Games-time governance, anti-doping and knowledge-transfer protocols.
"I can say with absolute certainty that it will be an outstanding inaugural European Games," Hickey said.
"The reports given by EOC members who have recently been out to Baku to oversee final preparations were very positive and this has allowed us to fully shift our attention to specific EOC arrangements for Games-time, such as our anti-doping processes and the locations of EOC meetings as well as transport and accommodation matters," Hickey said.
With just four weeks until the opening ceremony, Capralos also expressed satisfaction with Baku 2015's preparations.
"Myself and several other EOC members have been taking regular trips back to Baku in recent months to monitor preparations and we are all very satisfied with what we are finding," Capralos said.
"All the pieces in our puzzle are now in place - which for a modern-day mega-event with only 30 months to prepare is remarkable," he said.
Capralos said the operations and infrastructure which the organizing committee, BEGOC, had established "is of the level of an Olympic Games, which is an incredible achievement".
"I cannot wait for the Games to start, they're going to be a fantastic beginning to the European Games concept," Capralos added.
Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place on June 12-28, 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.
Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.
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