Baku, June 4, AZERTAC
CNN TV channel’s internet website has posted an article by Chris Borg titled 'Q&A: The European Games'.
"This month marks the start of a new era: on June 12th, Azerbaijan brings up the curtain on the first-ever European Games when its capital, Baku, will welcome some 6,000 athletes to this inaugural sporting festival. The Games, which will take place every four years, were brought into being at a vote by members of the European Olympic Committee (EOC) in 2012 and announced at a meeting of the body's General Assembly in Rome that December. Thirty-eight of the 49 EOC members backed the Games, which provide a European equivalent of the multi-sport Asian Games and the Pan-American Games, both of which have been part of the calendar since 1951,” Borg says in his article.
“Representatives of 50 European nations will compete, with the opening ceremony taking place on Friday June 12th and the closing ceremony being held on Sunday 28th. The committee said the event "is in no way intended to be a copy of the Olympic Games" and is "a tool with which to enhance the attractiveness of sport."
“The new Games will play host to some new disciplines after the Olympic Committee made its selection from an "overwhelming" number of suggestions. Twenty sports will be on the agenda -- 16 Olympic events and the other four making their debuts in this format.”
“The city, the largest in the South Caucasus and the biggest on the shores of the Caspian Sea, mixes the influences of east and west and, at the heart of an oil-rich nation, has plenty of conspicuous wealth: there are gleaming office towers and the boulevards at its centre are home to high-end shops,” he says.
“Azerbaijan wants to put itself and its capital at centre stage, with sports minister Azad Rahimov saying in an interview with the Guardian newspaper: "The main important thing is to position our country on the map of the world and our country on the map of Europe. The best instrument to do that is sport and culture. Sport has a bigger potential for reaching the most people. The Netherlands is set to host the second European Games, which will take place in 2019," says the article.