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  • Huge IOC Presence Expected at European Games -- On the Scene


    Hickey at Friday's EOC Seminar in Belek (ATR)
    (ATR) Pat Hickey says the attendance of around two-thirds of the IOC membership at the Baku 2015 opening ceremony will underline the importance of the inaugural European Games.

    “It is particularly gratifying that so far 70 IOC members have confirmed their attendance at the Baku 2015 Opening Ceremony on 12 June,” the EOC chief said.

    “The European Games concept has clearly earned real buy-in as a valuable addition to the sports calendar, not just within Europe but across the Olympic Movement.”

    Hickey’s comments came after a meeting of the EOC Executive Committee in Belek, Turkey on Thursday. Officials were updated on the state of Baku’s European Games preparations by the EOC evaluation team led by Spyros Capralos. The ExCo also finalized the EOC’s Baku 2015 Games-time governance, anti-doping and knowledge-transfer protocols.

    “I can say with absolute certainty that it will be an outstanding inaugural European Games,” Hickey said.

    “The reports given by EOC members who have recently been out to Baku to oversee final preparations were very positive and this has allowed us to fully shift our attention to specific EOC arrangements for Games-time, such as our anti-doping processes and the locations of EOC meetings as well as transport and accommodation matters.”

    With just four weeks until the opening ceremony, Capralos also expressed satisfaction with Baku 2015’s  preparations.

    “Myself and several other EOC members have been taking regular trips back to Baku in recent months to monitor preparations and we are all very satisfied with what we are finding,”
    The EOC's top table (ATR)
    said the head of the Hellenic Olympic Committee.

    “All the pieces in our puzzle are now in place – which for a modern-day mega-event with only 30 months to prepare is remarkable.”

    He said the operations and infrastructure which the organizing committee, BEGOC, had established “is of the level of an Olympic Games, which is an incredible achievement”.

    “I cannot wait for the Games to start, they’re going to be a fantastic beginning to the European Games concept,” Capralos added.

    The Gloria Golf Resort is also hosting the 36th annual European Olympic Committees Seminar, which got under way on Friday, and an Extraordinary General Assembly on Saturday at which Baku 2015 preparations will again be discussed.

    At the seminar, representatives of the 50 European NOCs are discussing the impact of the IOC’s Agenda 2020 reforms on European sport and hearing updates about the European Games. The seminar is being held in parallel with an IOC Olympic Solidarity Forum which is providing updates on the Rio 2016 Olympics and advise on NOC preparations.

    Following a presentation from the Dutch NOC on their 2019 European Games concept, the Netherlands will be awarded the second edition of the EOC’s flagship sports event at the general assembly. But the ratification of the proposal is subject to the Dutch NOC receiving government and financial guarantees for its multi-city bid.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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