Mehriban Aliyeva congratulates Azerbaijan’s people on successful completion of European Games (VIDEO) (UPDATE)
Details added, first version posted at 22:23
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 28
The First Lady of Azerbaijan, the Chairperson of the Baku 2015 European Games Organizing Committee Mehriban Aliyeva congratulated Azerbaijan's people on the successful completion of the Games.
"Dear countrymen, I cordially congratulate you on the successful completion of the first European Games," said Mehriban Aliyeva at the Games closing ceremony on June 28.
Mehriban Aliyeva also welcomed the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of the European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey and the athletes who participated in the Games.
"I express deep gratitude for the friendliness, hospitability and support shown to Azerbaijani national team, European athletes, numerous guests for their friendliness, hospitality and support during the Games," Mehriban Aliyeva further said.
First Lady of Azerbaijan expressed hope that there will be many more victories for independent Azerbaijan, and wished happiness and prosperity for Azerbaijani people.
She further said that the past 17 days were remarkable and unforgettable in the history of Azerbaijan.
"We are proud that the first European Games were held in our country," Mehriban Aliyeva said. "We are proud that within only two and a half years Azerbaijan has turned its commitment into a reality, and delivered a sporting event of the highest standard."
"Over the last 17 days we witnessed unity, solidarity and friendship between European nations," she said. "I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people of Azerbaijan, and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, for their great support of the Games and the athletes."
Mehriban Aliyeva added that the entire Azerbaijani nation is proud of its athletes.
"They have won a total of 56 medals - including 21 gold medals - and finished second in the overall medals table," she said. "Athletes of Azerbaijan, your success makes you a great example to the next generation."
"I would like to thank all the athletes who participated in these Games. Thank you for making these first European Games such an unforgettable festival of sport. You treated us to amazing performances of passion, courage and grace. These Games have been your Games, and your achievements have been truly inspirational. Congratulations to you all," the first lady of Azerbaijan said.
Mehriban Aliyeva further thanked the European Olympic Committees and their President, Mr Patrick Hickey, whose vision and determination turned the idea of a European Games into a reality.
"I would also like to thank Chair of the Coordination Commission, Spyros Capralos, for his invaluable guidance during our preparations," she said. "Thank you to the members of the Games Organising Committee, and all our international partners, for your commitment and dedication."
She also thanked the fans who came from all over Europe to support their teams.
"You celebrated victories. You offered comfort in defeat. You brought passion, excitement and a friendly atmosphere to the Games," Mehriban Aliyeva said.
Further, she thanked the volunteers.
"We could not have staged this event without you," Mehriban Aliyeva said. "Your enthusiasm and professionalism has helped us to bring the spirit of Baku 2015 to life."
She noted that a country which has such a talented youth has a great future.
Azerbaijan's first lady also thanked the international volunteers, who travelled to Azerbaijan from across Europe to helped Azerbaijan to organise the historic event and to be a part of this festival of sport and friendship.
"We will miss you and hope you will come back," she said.
Mehriban Aliyeva said Azerbaijan opened its arms and its heart to Europe, welcomed old friends and made new ones.
"We hope to see you back in Azerbaijan for future events," she said. "Next year, Baku will host the forty-second Chess Olympiad and the Formula One European Grand Prix. In 2017, we will welcome the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games. And in 2020, European Championship football matches will be played in our city."
"As the curtain falls on this celebration of sport and friendship, I'm overwhelmed by an enormous sense of pride in our country and our people," Mehriban Aliyeva said. "The past 17 days will live forever in our hearts. It will be an unforgettable moment in our history that passes down through the generations."
The European Games kicked off in Baku June 12 wrapped up on June 28. Baku 2015 First European Games hosted 20 sports - 16 Olympic and four non-Olympic sports.
More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe came to Baku to represent their nations over 17 days of competition. Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.