2015 European Games are in Baku
Baku…that's in Azerbaijan.
Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place from 12 – 28 June 2015.
The Opening Ceremony on Friday 12 June and the Closing Ceremony on Sunday 28 June 28 will be held in the newly-built National Stadium. National Stadium on June 12. That stadium will seat 68,000. Other main venues are the Aquatics Centre designed by Pujo Arquitectura of Barcelona, the spectacular National Gymnastics Arena which hosted the European Rhythmic Gymnastics in 2014 and is dedicated to gymnastics, and the Shooting Centre. Crystal Hall which was built to showcase the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is being adapted for sports that include soccer, to seat 20,000-25,000 in different modes. That venue was designed by German company von Gerkan, Marg and Partners, who have delivered new designs globally.
Above, left to right: The National Stadium and two images of the Gymnastics Centre
Zaha Hadid is in the mix, having designed an award-winning, shell-shaped city museum+auditorium, the Heydar Aliyev Centre. This enterprise hit serious criticism as locals were evicted in land clearance/preparation for building. Can you imagine the OTP praise?…The Guardian wrote, “Like sinuous whirls of whipped cream, buffeted into a mountain range of peaks and spilling out to form a zig-zagging landscape, it is the most complete realisation yet of the Iraqi-born architect's vision of swooping curves and flowing space, which she brought to London's Olympic swimming pool. It is an intoxicatingly beautiful building by the most brilliant architect at the height of her office's powers," said juror Piers Gough, of CZWG Architects, the only member of the six-strong panel to have seen the project in the flesh. "It is as pure and sexy as Marilyn's blown skirt."
The Opening and Closing ceremonies will be directed by Dimitris Papaioannou, the artist behind the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Ceremonies, while FiveCurrents of the US, run by Scott Givens, has been contracted to produce the ceremonies. They have recruited 6000 performers.
There will be a total of 49 nations and 19 (or is it 20?) sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. Almost 7,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition. 12,000 volunteers are being readied. Eleven of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees in December 2012. The country has major aspirations to host an Olympic Games. The European Games are part of the country’s strategy to bolster its image of capability and modernity. It is notable that a good number of top Australian games designers, planners and operators are engaged in Baku, along with numbers who are ex-London 2012 and ex-Glasgow 2014. Well done to you all.
Coca-Cola, Azerbaijan Airlines, BP, Nar Mobile, P&G, SOCAR and Tissot are Official Partners of the Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) . The Baku 2015 brand will be exclusively displayed on Coca-Cola and Bonaqua Water labels throughout Azerbaijan as part of an integrated marketing campaign to help raise awareness of the Games.