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IOC President praises power of sport at European Games

15 June 2015 11:58 (UTC+04:00)
IOC President praises power of sport at European Games

By Nigar Orujova

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach praised the unifying power of sport to transcend cultural and political differences and bring athletes from all backgrounds together at international multi-sport events like the European Games.

“We see Russian athletes competing alongside Ukrainians. There are Serbian and Kosovan teams in these Games, and we see Armenian athletes alongside their hosts from Azerbaijan. All these athletes marched together at the Opening Ceremony,” Bach said during his visit to Baku.

“This is the power of sport to bring people together regardless of background, belief or nationality. This is something that sport can do, and maybe something that only sport can do,” he stressed.

The IOC President attended the Opening Ceremony of the inaugural European Games alongside dozens of heads of state and IOC members on June 12, before attending Triathlon, Karate and Wrestling competitions and visiting the Athletes Village in Baku.

Bach added: “The Opening Ceremony was truly spectacular, full of history, symbolism and culture. The Ceremony and the whole organization of the European Games reflect the magnificent job the organizers have done in such a short period of time. It has been a great achievement.”

The opening ceremony of the Baku 2015 European Games was held at the National Olympic Stadium with participation of the international and local artists and teams. The surprise of the event was performance of pop diva Lady Gaga.

Baku 2015 European Games is underway in Baku for the fourth day. More than 6,000 athletes came to Azerbaijan to compete in 20 sports and win 12 licenses to Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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