On 8 December 2012, the European Olympic Committees announced that the inaugural European Games had been awarded to the Azerbaijani capital of Baku. Two-and-a-half years later, the city is ready to raise the curtain on the world’s newest major sporting event.
The newly built Olympic Stadium will play host to a unique Opening Ceremony on 12 June, a celebration brimming with Azerbaijani magic and the country’s inimitable flair. Those lucky enough to get a ticket for the event, along with sports fans around the world, will witness an electrifying display of the country’s culture and spirit to herald the start of the Games.
Across 17 days of competition, 6,000 of the continent’s finest athletes in 20 sports will be in action, chasing not just the first ever European Games medals but, in the case of 12 sports, qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
As the Baku 2015 Flame arrived at the end of its 60-region tour of the country, it once again highlighted the unifying spirit and power of sport. Lit in the ancient temple of Ateshgah by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the flame travelled uninterrupted for 48 days, carried by some of the nation’s best-loved sporting heroes and cultural icons.
Baku is ready, and the city has prepared a warm welcome for the first ever European Games. Whether it is the grace of the gymnasts, the power of the swimmers or the strength of the Sambo athletes, a historic event awaits in the Azerbaijan capital.