Baku, June 29, AZERTAC
President of the European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey has applauded Azerbaijan`s role in the excellent organization of the first European Games.
"Azerbaijan`s contribution to the inaugural European Games was enormous," he told AZERTAC in an exclusive interview.
"Azerbaijan enabled this baby to be born. And the baby has been born now and it will continue to grow and succeed."
"I`m very much pleased with the organization of the Games. To launch the European Games in Baku has been a dream come true because Azerbaijan has done such an excellent job."
"The future prospects of the Games are very positive. We will have an abundance of cities to choose from in 2019. We already have two cities interested in 2023 edition," he said.
Mr Hickey hailed the role of First Lady of Azerbaijan, Chair of the Baku 2015 European Games Organizing Committee Mehriban Aliyeva.
"I can't underestimate her contribution to the Games. It was fantastic. She was the excellent chairperson of the Organizing Committee. She attended every meeting, and she is a very smart, very bright lady. It was a very great honor and pleasure to work with her."
He praised EOC-Azerbaijan relations. "It is not a business relationship. It's a sporting relationship between us and Azerbaijan. BEGOC have done a great job and they've helped greatly in training young Azeris, how to handle sport and run sports events. And I think the most fantastic legacy from these Games will be that your citizens in Azerbaijan will be able to run any type of international event. They are now so experienced and this is great news for everybody."
The EOC chief also said he was honored to receive Dostlug Order conferred upon him by President Ilham Aliyev.
"I was very honored to receive one of the highest orders given to a foreigner in your country. And to receive it from President Ilham Aliyev himself was really double honor for me," Mr Hickey added.