Moscow, April 14 (AZERTAC). 2012 – Baku 2020 offers the Olympic Movement a new, sustainable model of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games, delegates at the ANOC General Assembly in Moscow heard today.
The First Lady of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva, speaking to the 1,000 delegates gathered at the city`s World Trade Centre, said: “We want Baku 2020 to demonstrate that it is possible to host prudent, responsible Games while honouring the Olympic and Paralympic ideals; and, we want the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and fair play to contribute to the social development of our nation, as it has done so many times before.”
The First Lady added: “Baku is a vibrant city; a visionary mixture of ancient and modern architecture, a rich palette of cultures and generations of history. Above all, Baku is a dynamic, healthy-lifestyle city. On a fine summer day, you can swim in the warm waters of the Caspian Sea, go for a run along the Boulevard or enjoy sports in several newly constructed, state-of-the-art facilities.”
She went on to stress that the government of Azerbaijan recognised the political and financial investment needed to stage the Games: “Let me assure you, we are ready.”
“I give you the President`s, and indeed the entire country`s guarantee that if Baku is awarded the honour of hosting the 2020 Games, we will do everything required to ensure that Baku 2020 fulfils your every expectation.
“When our city`s ancient symbol, the eternal flame of Baku, welcomes the Olympic flame of peace and hope, our entire nation will celebrate the realisation of a common dream. And we will look forward to sharing this dream with all our guests in Baku.”
Narguiz Birk-Petersen, the Bid`s Communications Director, opened the city`s presentation, asking delegates to “imagine an Olympic Games in a new region of the world; a Games that introduces one of the world`s oldest, yet little known cultures – my culture – in a modern and vibrant celebration of sport and friendship.”
Birk-Petersen also stressed the importance of Baku`s proposed new hosting model: “We want to prove that an Olympic Games is not only a sound investment in a nation`s sport, health and quality of life, but that it can be hosted in a responsible manner which, in turn, provides a sustainable Games hosting model for the future.
Birk-Petersen added: “All across the world, progressive change is happening; and social issues that the Olympic Movement has always championed, such as equal opportunities for women, are the values that we cherish as well. We have learned how the Games can positively impact the hopes, dreams and lives of past Host Cities. And now, we too, dream of re-imagining our future, together, with you.”
Elkhan Mammadov, Baku 2020 Sports and Venues Director, described his home city`s strengths saying: “Baku has an ideal climate for sport, a beautiful waterfront, and an amazing history. And perhaps importantly in these challenging financial times, we offer one of the strongest, fastest growing economies in the world. The positive impact of Baku 2020 is almost impossible to calculate. The legacy for sport in Azerbaijan will transform the lives of athletes for generations to come.”
Mammadov added: “We offer the Olympic Movement a Games model based on true need; this means sustainable venues designed to remain in place, serving local and regional athletes. Our model can show future potential Host Cities that the Olympic Games are achievable, responsible investments for the future.”
Olympic veteran Bob Elphinston introduced the Baku technical film, saying: “We all know that NOCs are the foundation of the Movement and the heart of Olympic sport. It has been my privilege and pleasure to work alongside an extremely talented Azeri team to produce the Baku 2020 Games plan, a plan based on a singular ideal – the athletes.”
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