Fairy tales will come to life
Sport19 September 2019, 15:43 103
As a worthy successor of the first Democratic Republic in the East, independent Azerbaijan has become the leading state in the South Caucasus due to its economic development. Azerbaijan, a place of multiculturalism and tolerance, also attracts the world’s attention as a country that hosts high-level international events, including sports. The high level of security and modern infrastructure in Azerbaijan are primary reasons for this. It is worth noting that in recent years, 45 modern Olympic Sports Complex have been built in the country. At the same time, stadiums, football fields, swimming centers, the national gymnastics arena, chess schools, and other sports facilities have been commissioned. Our athletes, appreciating the conditions created for them, have repeatedly demonstrated to the world that Azerbaijan is a sporting state and that there is a high level of care for sports in the country.
Of course, our success, modern infrastructure, and Azerbaijan’s growing power in the world has played an important role in the organization of several international events here. For example, our contestants having taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest, an important cultural event in the world, since 2008, won the contest in 2011. The victory of Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal gave Azerbaijan the right to host the contest in 2012. In May 2012, the contest was held at the highest organizational level in capital Baku.
In 2015, Azerbaijan hosted the first European Games. About 10,000 athletes from 50 countries participated in this sporting event in Azerbaijan, held for the first time in history. They competed for 253 sets of medals in 30 sports. During the competitions held on June 12-28, Azerbaijan became the focus of the world’s attention as a sports center. By holding this competition in Baku and Mingachevir, Azerbaijan proved that it is capable of hosting a high-level event of any international scale and, most importantly, setting its own example in this regard. In May, 2016, the European Championship held among football players under 17, is another example of an international event held in the country. During the championship, 16 national teams competed in four groups.
In the same year, the pulse of European sports once again beat in Baku - a unique city, which brings the East and the West together. The Land of Fire hosted a world-renowned sporting event - Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe on 17-19 June, 2016. The tournament, with half a billion viewers worldwide, reflects Azerbaijan’s success in the international sports world. Since then, Baku hosts Formula 1 tournaments annually.
With all of this in mind, Azerbaijan hosting the IV Islamic Solidarity Games in May, 2017 cannot be considered coincidental. About 6,000 athletes from 57 countries competed in these competitions held on May 12-22, in Baku. Simultaneously, Baku 2016: World Chess Olympiad, Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships, the World Cup, the International Boxing Tournament, UEFA Europa League Final, Summer European Youth Olympic Festival and other competitions held in Azerbaijan have all played an important role in our athletes’ lives. As President Ilham Aliyev once said, our country as the host of international tournaments has introduced a different approach and has applied new standards.
Thanks to the accurate domestic and foreign policy, attention and care of President Ilham Aliyev, and the successful organization of international sporting events at the highest level by First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva, Azerbaijan has become a modern, progressive and powerful state not only in Europe and in the Islamic world but all around the globe. This is why the magnificent National Gymnastics Arena in Baku has become a venue for another international sporting event. After 14 years, the attention of the gymnastics world is once again focused on one of the most important competitions - the 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championship held in Baku. World rhythmic gymnasts taking part in the championship, which kicked off on September 16 and will continue until the 22nd of this month, are not only competing for first place but also for the qualification to participate in the XXXII Summer Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo in 2020.
One of the most memorable parts of the championship held under the motto "Fairy Tales will come to life” is the grand opening ceremony. The organizers presented a colorful, unique show that took the audience into the world of fairy tales. Alongside the show called "Tale of the East” performed based on eastern elements, Azerbaijan’s famous performers attended the ceremony.
In the championship, individual gymnasts as well as teams are competing in competitions with various instruments and in all-around ranking. At the same time, the strongest team members are determined. More than 300 gymnasts from 61 countries are competing for nine sets of medals, including the bid for the Olympics. Nine gymnasts are representing Azerbaijan at the World Championships.
The ambassador of the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, multiple world champion in rhythmic gymnastics, Olympic medalist, Russian gymnast Yana Batyrshina is also watching the competitions alongside spectators. She told journalists that the organizers of the competition were doing their best to hold the championship at a high level. Batyrshina said she had no doubt that Azerbaijan will once again be distinguished by its high organizational skills.
Head of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics Irina Viner-Usmanova said excellent conditions had been created for the training of gymnasts in Azerbaijan. She noted that such conditions exist in few countries and the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku is outstanding. Viner-Usmanova also pointed out that everything has been done thanks to the President of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Mehriban Aliyeva.
In support of Batyrshina's remarks, the high organizational level of international sporting events hosted by Azerbaijan thus far, make it inevitable that the 37th World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship will be remembered with positive moments. President Ilham Aliyev once noted that in developed countries, sports bring great victory to both the state and the people. We have no doubt that this is the case in Azerbaijan. International events held so far, the interest that is attracts, the relations between the world and Azerbaijan, the national unity of its people and their desire for sports confirm this.