CNN: Azerbaijan brings up curtain on first-ever European Games
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 4
CNN channel website has published an article dedicated to the first European Games to be held in Baku.
"This month marks the start of a new era: on June 12th, Azerbaijan brings up the curtain on the first-ever European Games when its capital, Baku, will welcome some 6,000 athletes to this inaugural sporting festival," said Chris Borg in his article.
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.
The Netherlands is set to host the second European Games, which will take place in 2019, according to the article.
Borg says in the article that the games will play host to some new disciplines after the Olympic Committee made its selection from an "overwhelming" number of suggestions.
The article further says that 20 sports will be on the agenda - 16 Olympic events and the other four making their debuts in this format (3x3 basketball, karate, beach soccer and sambo).
Sambo in particular has its roots in the military history of the Soviet Union. It is a martial art, it was devised as an element of Red Army training in the 1920s with the intention of sharpening soldiers' hand-to-hand combat skills. Throwing, groundwork and submissions are all elements - the sport has echoes of both wrestling and judo, but rules and restrictions are different - and the name is a truncated version of the Russian for 'self-defence without weapons.'
Borg says the incentives for athletes are twofold: both the winning of medals for their country and opportunities to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The journalist further quotes Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov from his interview to the Guardian newspaper, where he said that "the main important thing is to position our country on the map of the world and our country on the map of Europe."
"The best instrument to do that is sport and culture," said Rahimov. "Sport has a bigger potential for reaching the most people."