ATR) A pomegranate-shaped logo that includes a mythical bird will be the international symbol of the Baku 2015 European Games.
The emblem was unveiled Saturday in Rome at the annual assembly of the European Olympic Committees.
Azerbaijan’s Sports Minister Azad Rahimov revealed the design during a meeting with the EOC on progress for the European Games.
“Our logo reflects the pride of our nation in its sporting heritage, our commitment to hospitality and welcoming our guests, and our position as an emerging center for sport, business and tourism in Europe and beyond,” Rahimov said in a statement to the media.
The EOC approved the idea of staging the European Games, as well as selecting Baku as the site of the first games, at the 2012 assembly.
EOC president Patrick Hickey said the first-ever European Games represents an important step for European athletes “on the journey to one day wearing their nation’s colors as competitors in the Olympic Games.”
Azerbaijani Adam Yunisov designed the Baku 2015 logo, which combines five core elements of the nation: flame, water, the mythical simurg bird, carpet, and pomegranate, all emblematic of life in Azerbaijan. Yunisov’s design was selected after an open public competition. Baku 2015 says the logo depicts Azerbaijan’s “natural beauty, culture, and the vibrancy of Baku, one of Europe's fastest-growing economies and cities.”
Olympic wrestler Farid Mansurov celebrated the logo launch along with his fellow Azerbaijani athletes. “Baku 2015 promises to provide career-defining opportunities for athletes and inspiration for young people,” Mansurov said to the press. He added, “To wear this logo is to be a part of shaping the future of European sport.”
Azerbaijan Sports Minister Azad Rahimov holds up an Atletico Madrid jersey with the new Baku 2015 logo. (ATR)
The logo will make its debut in the sporting arena tonight during Atletico Madrid’s home match against Getafe CF. Atletico Madrid players will wear jerseys adorned with the Baku 2015 logo throughout the rest of the season. RC Lens players will also sport the Baku 2015 logo on their jerseys during competition.
The European Games will bring together more than 5,400 athletes from the 49 Olympic nations of Europe. Athletes will compete in 18 sports, including new events such as three-on-three basketball.
“Baku 2015 will provide a new world-class center of sports venues and facilities that will help to shape the future of sport in Europe,” Rahimov said.
He added, “And for the communities of Azerbaijan, [Baku 2015] will bring new urban, transport and economic benefits and infrastructure.
"That’s what these Games – and our passionate desire to host them – are really about.”