First European Games – proudest moment in history of EOC, says Patrick Hickey (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 23:24)

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 12

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:

The First European Games is the proudest moment in the history of the European Olympic Committees, Patrick Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committees said during the opening ceremony of the First European Games in Baku June 12.

"Good evening Baku, good evening Azerbaijan, your Excellency President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Chair of Baku 2015, First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva, President of the international Olympic Committee Thomas Bach thank you," he said.

"Thank you members of the European Olympic family, most distinguished guests, dear friends from Baku and all Azerbaijan and 2,500 volunteers. Here, tonight, in Baku's magnificent new National Stadium we are witnessing - we are creating - a landmark moment in European sport," he said.

"Through Europe's first Games, we bind the five continents of the Olympic Movement even closer together," said Hickey.

"First Lady Aliyeva, as Chair of Baku 2015, your role in these European Games cannot be overstated. For your tireless dedication to this endeavor, for your contribution to the bright future of sport in Europe: once again, I thank you," Hickey said.

"The greatest stage for you - the 6,000 athletes of the 50 Olympic nations in Europe who are here today on the verge of something remarkable," said EOC president.

"Dear athletes, these are your games. Many of you will even secure your qualification for Rio 2016 over the next two weeks," he said. "You have only one chance to become the first ever European Games champion. I order you to take it. And I order to write your names forever in the Europe sport history. Thank you and good luck."

Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which kicked off on June 12.

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.

The First European Games will last till June 28.

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Follow the author on Twitter @EmmaTariver

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