European Games: Azerbaijan said - Azerbaijan delivered
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 28
By Aynur Gasimova - Trend:
Azerbaijan adequately hosted, adequately held and adequately closed the European Games. Everyone, both the participants of this sporting event, and the audience at home and abroad, are saying this.
Azerbaijan has inscribed its name into the history of not only sports, but also whole Europe. This is the merit of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan's First Lady, the Chairperson of the Baku 2015 European Games Organizing Committee Mehriban Aliyeva, and the entire people of Azerbaijan. Not only funds and time, but also soul and heart of Azerbaijan have been invested into the European Games.
All these efforts of the country's leadership are first of all aimed at the welfare of the future generations.
Baku's success on the world arena is no longer a surprise. However, everyone understands well that Azerbaijan is a young country, with a 24-year-old independence and a small area in comparison to many countries in the region and Europe.
Of course, there were doubts. However, right after the opening ceremony all the doubts were dispelled. And the closing ceremony hammered the "last nail in the coffin" of all the ill-wishers.
Today, after the end of the Games, there is desire to ask all the organizers, performers and sympathizers of the dirty PR campaign against Azerbaijan. What have you achieved?
You spent money and time - both your own and others', you tried to divert attention from a sports celebration, and you slandered, defamed and cheated. So what?
All of this is just reminiscent of a famous Eastern saying - the dog barks, but the caravan goes on.
Slandering the Games, you, first of all, throw mud not at the country holding them, but at your own national teams that took part in the competitions. You insulted the flags waved at the Games being accompanied by national anthems.
You question the victories of the athletes who achieved that after the long training and hard work.
For those who ask whether there were problems, I will say only one thing: there were problems. These problems were related to the tickets. So many people couldn't obtain tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies, only because the stadium for 68,000 people was packed!
The failure of the ill-wishers is obvious. So what did Azerbaijan gain?
Today, everyone shares the same opinion: Azerbaijan is able to host the Summer Olympic Games. The whole infrastructure, the organization level and holding of the European Games proves that. By the way, this entire infrastructure will serve the people after the Games.
Taking into account that the interest in sports has significantly increased in the country as a result of holding the European Games, definitely, sharp increase can be observed in the number of people going in for sports in the coming years. The people's good health is one of the greatest achievements of Azerbaijan as a result of hosting the European Games.
Another important factor is that Azerbaijan made a large number of new friends: athletes who competed at the Games, journalists who covered this event, as well as fans and tourists who visited the country for the Games.
The First European Games which is naturally very important for Azerbaijan is just an example of what the country can. It once again proved that Azerbaijan can hold any event at the highest level and mainly, that the country keeps its word.
Aynur Gasimova is the head of Trend Agency's English news service, follow her on Twitter @AynuraGM