Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.4
The Baku 2015 European Games has been praised by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Coordination Commission following their visit to the host city of inaugural event to be held in 2015.
Members of the Commission toured competition venues and observed presentations from a number of Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) directorates.
They also attended a ceremony at the new Baku 2015 headquarters, where Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports and BEGOC Chief Executive Officer, formally cut the ribbon to declare the office open, Operations Committee told Trend.
Spyros Capralos, chairman of the EOC Coordination Commission, was impressed by progress made in recent months by the BEGOC team following a number of key updates.
"There is a fantastic team here in Baku and this visit has given us an opportunity to meet many of the new members of staff who are all working hard to make the inaugural European Games a world-class event," he said.
"Significant work has been achieved over the past year and a half and the continued efforts to innovate, particularly with regards to the sports program, is very impressive."
"The European Games will make history for European sport and it is vital that BEGOC continues its excellent progress in preparing for Europe's first continental multi-sport Games. I have no doubt it will be an event that will live long in the memory of European sports fans," Capralos added.
"We can sense the growing levels of excitement and anticipation here in Baku. We are confident that each and every venue at next year's Games will host enthusiastic fans enjoying the experience of elite European sport," Azad Rahimov stressed.
"The European Games represent not only a new era of sporting competition, but also of friendship for the entire continent."
Senior members of the Baku 2015 team were on hand to inform the Coordination Commission of the developments on issues including ticketing, commercial sponsorship, broadcast agreements and the sports program.
"Hosting the Coordination Commission here in Baku once again has given us the opportunity to update them on the significant progress we have made since their last visit," Simon Clegg, chief operating officer of Baku 2015, said.
"With just 281 days until the opening ceremony of the European Games, I am confident that we have the team and ability to deliver an event that will live up to the expectations of the European Olympic Committees and unite Europe in sport."
The final EOC Coordination Commission will take place in February 2015.
Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place from 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.
Nine of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio Summer Olympic Games in 2016. Those sports include Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon and Volleyball.
Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organize and run the Games in co-operation with the EOC.