European Games to become event of global significance in Baku - The Guardian
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 24
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
The Baku 2015 chief operating officer, Simon Clegg, believes the European Games in June will become an event of global significance, an article published in The Guardian says.
And despite an initial struggle to convince athletes to commit, Clegg is convinced the move is further proof the two-week competition in Azerbaijan will grow to become a quadrennial event of global significance.
"I think there was a degree of scepticism out there and we have addressed those sceptics by raising what is now a universal enthusiasm for this event across all the 50 European national Olympic committees," Clegg, a former chief executive of the British Olympic Association, said.
"If there are a small number of sceptics still remaining I think they will be overcome when they see the scale of this event and what will be delivered in Baku," he said. "I have no doubt that the European Games has got an exciting future ahead of it."
The move to stage the European judo championships in Baku after Glasgow was stripped of the hosting rights earlier this month could signal the way forward for future editions of the European Games, the EOC president, Pat Hickey, said.
Hickey confirmed the organisation is already working on convincing a number of other governing bodies to incorporate their respective sports' continental championships into the second Games in 2019.
"The EOC has always intended for European championships to become part of the European Games and this agreement indicates that our dream is coming true, even earlier than we had anticipated," Hickey said.
"I am sure other sports will follow suit at future editions of the European Games and that the event will become one of the main qualification routes to the Olympic Games," he said.
Baku 2015 is the first ever European games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place on 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.
Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.
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