Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Azerbaijan made a compelling pledge to the EOC to host the inaugural European Games back in 2012, Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), said in an interview published in a special issue of The Business Year magazine, dedicated to the first European Games Baku 2015.
He said that Azerbaijan's concept was innovative and offered an assurance that all infrastructure would be ready on time and delivered to the highest international standards, with strong legacy plans to elevate sport throughout Azerbaijan, the region, and the continent.
The Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) is delivering on all these promises as they now move into the final testing and readiness phase of their preparations, he said. "BEGOC has only had 30 months to deliver these Games."
"To stage an event such as Baku 2015-which is bigger in scale than the Olympic Winter Games-in such a tight timeframe has only been possible through the hard work and professionalism of BEGOC's staff," he said.
"However, behind the excellent work of BEGOC is total government support. The First Lady is the Chair of the Baku 2015 Organizing Committee and the President is also the Head of Azerbaijan's National Olympic Committee. Their support and passion for the European Games has been crucial."
The Games are one of the most significant events in the recent history of Azerbaijan, he said. Since 2012, the city has secured other high-profile sports properties, such as an Formula One Grand Prix in 2016, the Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017, and matches at EURO 2020, said Hickey.
"Baku 2015 opened the window for the sports world into Azerbaijan, and the country has seized its opportunity," he said. "The innovation behind the European Games also helps us address another challenge making Europe aware and communicating about why these Games are a necessary introduction to the sports calendar."
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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