Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29
By Claude Salhani - Trend:
Azerbaijan has kept its word. Azerbaijan had promised Europe and the world well organized Games and they delivered.
In fact they more than delivered. The European Games, went off without a hitch.
The rest of the events - 20 sports, 16 Olympic and four non-Olympic sports unfolded with the precision of a Swiss watch.
More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe came to Baku to represent their nations over 17 days of competition.
From the opening session that gave us an all the wonders of the mythical magic of Azeri folklore including a flying carpet and scenes from the Land of Fire's history books, to the fantastic display of fireworks that illuminated Baku, made the country shine in more than one way.
From a logistics perspective, it was smooth sailing, too.
Ferrying around some 6,000 athletes to and from multiple locations, the athletes' village, the training sites and the stadiums is no small feat. Not to mention the hundreds of journalists and television crews, security personnel and of course the spectators.
Moving that many people around when tied to a strict timetable is not always easy.
A number of athletes are not very likely to ever forgive, nor forget how they missed arriving at their stadium in time to compete because the drivers had missed the exit and by the time the buses turned around and back-tracked, it was too late. This happened at the 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia.
But here Azerbaijani "can-do' attitude prevailed.