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  • Sports Leaders Consider Azeri Olympic Aspirations -- ATRadio


    (ATR) In this Sunday edition of ATRadio, Around the Rings recaps reaction to the closing of the inaugural European Games and what the event could mean for a future Azeri Olympic bid.

    (L-R) Mehriban Aliyeva, first lady of Azerbaijan, Hickey and his wife (Getty Images)
    Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees, spoke with ATR Editor Ed Hula just hours before closing ceremony of the 2015 European Games in Baku.

    Hickey said the experience at the European Games convinces him that the Azerbaijan capital city has what it takes to launch a competitive bid for the Olympics again. Baku has bid twice before.

    Azerbaijan Minister for Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov has led the push for his country to play a greater role in international sport for 10 years. His biggest catch so far, the inaugural European Games.

    In an interview with ATR Editor Ed Hula, Rahimov said plenty of credit goes to the team of experts from across Europe who have come to Baku in the past two and a half years to work on the games.

    He echoed Hickey's sentiments, saying the experience will be evaluated quickly by the government to decide whether to go ahead with a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

    This edition of ATRadio also features an interview with
     correspondent Alice Wheeler, who was in Tokyo this week covering the second IOC coordination commission for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

    Tokyo's venue for fencing, taekwondo and wrestling (Tokyo 2020/Shugo Takemi)
    Wheeler spoke with ATR's Nicole Bennett on July 1 and mapped out the biggest issues ahead for organizers of the 2020 Olympics.

    The 15-member commission, chaired by John Coates, toured several venues including the proposed site for track cycling on the Izu peninsula.
    The evaluation of Tokyo's venues was high on the coordination commission's priority list, Wheeler says. 

    As for the most pressing, the track cycling velodrome, Coates has indicated that a decision is expected to come at the end of the month during the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur.

    Lastly, ATRadio highlights excerpts from an interview with Olympic swimmer Max Metzker.

    In an interview with ATR on July 2, Metzker reflected on what he says is the Olympics "no one wants to talk about."

    For Metzker, the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games brings to mind one of the worst disputes in the history of Australian sport.

    Stay tuned this week for an edition of ATRadio with Andrey Kryukov, chairman of Almaty’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

    Written and produced by Nicole Bennett

    Sound: YouTube; User Gordao44 & Baku 2015 / Photos: Getty Images

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