Azerbaijan is hosting yet another high-profile international sporting event as a solemn opening ceremony of Baku 2019 15th Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) has been held at the Baku Crystal Hall.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Head of the National Olympic Committee Ilham Aliyev, first lady Mehriban Aliyeva, as well as President of the European Olympic Committees Janez Kocijančič and heads of delegates of the participating states attended the event.
European Youth Olympic Festival is held under the patronage of the IOC, and is the pride of the European Olympic Committees with 25 years of tradition. EYOF is the first top European multi-sport event aimed at young athletes aged 14 to 18. There is a winter and a summer edition, which take place in two-year cycles, in odd-numbered years. The EYOF belongs to the European Olympic Committees (EOC).
The event takes place under the Olympic flag, and is rich with Olympic traditions: from the burning flame to athletes’ and officials’ oaths. It is at the EYOF that many of Europe’s inspiring sports stars of tomorrow take their first steps on the international stage. And while some may enjoy EYOF as a stepping-stone to Olympic greatness, all who participate take home friendships and experiences to last a lifetime.
Baku 2019 will feature seven days of competition in 10 sports at 12 competition venues, all of which are already existing, making this edition of the EYOF also one of the most sustainable. Wrestling will join the EYOF program for the first time this year.
Approximately 3,600 young people and their officials take part in the summer festivals, while there are around 1,600 participants at the winter editions. The competitions consisting of 10 sports (Artistic Gymnastics, Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Handball, Judo, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, and Wrestling) will involve over 2500 volunteers.
A total of 122 Azerbaijani athletes will vie for medals at the European Youth Olympics Festival to be held in Baku from July 21-27.