(ATR) Time is of the essence for organizing the 2019 European Games, but a host of venues ready for competition means European Olympic Officials remain confident.
Last week an EOC coordination commission visited Minsk, Belarus for the first time to assess preparations for the second European Games. Spyros Capralos, chair of the European Games coordination commission, said afterwards organizers were on the “right tracks,” even in a shortened timeline.
Capralos took over the coordination commission in January, singling out
a low budget, an unknown sports program and Belarus’ human rights issues as priorities. Capralos also lead the coordination commission for the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Sixteen sports will comprise the sport program for the Minsk Games, a decrease of four sports from Baku. A European Olympic Committees release said that the Games will serve as European Championships for five sports, and Tokyo 2020 qualification for “a majority” of events.
Capralos said after the commission meeting, according to the EOC, that the “premises for a highly successful 2019 European Games are all there,” in Minsk. No venues need to be built for the Games and organizers can draw from the accelerated Baku timelines for reference.
EOC Acting President Janez Kocijančič said, “At this stage of preparations we can but be fully satisfied,” with the reports of progress. He said the dialogue between the coordination commission and the organizing committee “is what we have achieved”.
“[Belarus] has many values and an important culture that has been a great contributor to Europe,” Kocijančič added.
Written by Aaron Bauer
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