European Games torch relay program presentation kicks off in Baku (UPDATE-2)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.20

By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

The presentation ceremony for the First European Games torch relay program kicked off in Baku Apr.20.

The presentation is being attended by Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports, Chief Executive Director of the Baku 2015 Operations Committee Azad Rahimov, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015 European Games Simon Clegg, Baku 2015 Director of Ceremonies, Catherine Ugwu and other guests.

Making opening remarks at the event, Azad Rahimov said that the First European Games is the historical event for Azerbaijan and the European sports.

This will have a big impact on Azerbaijan's development as an independent member of the European family, said the minister.

Rahimov added that the torch of the First European Games will be lit in the ancient and sacred temple of fire worshipers (Ateshgah) of Azerbaijan - Land of Fire.

Rahimov added that 47 days before the opening ceremony of the Games to be held June 12, the torch will be carried across 60 districts of the country, passing 5,500 kilometers, spreading the spirit of the Games and warming the hearts of the people.

The minister of youth and sports added that this torch relay, standing out with its peculiarity, will demonstrate Azerbaijan's history, natural resources, its achievements in the spheres of culture and sports.

The torch holder with the height of 660 centimeters resembles the pomegranate tree of Baku-2015 brand, according to Rahimov.

He added that the copper fire bowl is made in the form of a pomegranate - 50 seeds in it mean the number of countries participating in the Games.

Rahimov said that kerosene lamps, reflecting Azerbaijan's national and spiritual values with pomegranate motifs taken from the torch and the brand of the Games will be used on each point of handing over the fire.

Following this, the design of the torch and the lamp were presented to the public.

The minister said 150 teams and 132 vehicles will be involved in the torch relay.

The torch will be returned back to Baku on June 7 and interesting events will be held in the capital before the opening of the Games, he added.

"Day of Sports Arenas - on June 8, Day of Icherisheher - June 9, Day of Architecture and Arts - June 10 are among such events," said the minister, adding that the last day of the torch relay program is June 11.

Furthermore, Azad Rahimov said that the torch and the lamp of Baku 2015 were designed by British industrial designer Sebastian Bergne with the art direction of YARAT! Contemporary Art Space.

"The designer used the traditional art of Azerbaijani coinage while designing the torch," said Rahimov. "Thus, the torch will become another means of presenting our national and spiritual values."

Catherine Ugwu, for her part, said that the torch relay will create a good mood and across its entire travel route, cause interest to the First European Games. She added that the torch relay will determine the course of the subsequent events.

Ugwu said that over 1,000 torchbearers will take part in the torch relay.

The torch will be carried across the land - on bus, funicular and bike, Baku subway - sea and air.

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.

Edited by SI

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