Pat Hickey President of the European Olympic Committees was in Baku for the lighting of the 2015 European Games Flame.
Mr Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports and Chief Executive Officer of Baku 2015, said: “The European Games mark a historic moment for European sport, and for Azerbaijan it will be a milestone in the country’s progress as an independent, forward-looking member of the European family. This extraordinary journey will showcase the best of Azerbaijan – taking in historical, natural, sporting and cultural highlights in the 60 regions.”
Ms Catherine Ugwu, Baku 2015 Director of Ceremonies, said: “The Journey of the Flame will build momentum and excitement in the lead to the first-ever European Games. It will help set the tone for what’s to come.”
Pat Hickey President European Olympic Committee, said, “The Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect are perfectly expressed through the Torch Relay. By passing the flame from one to another in a collaborative gesture, torchbearers spread a message of peace, friendship and celebration through sport. Baku 2015 will come to life through the dedication and effort of your entire country. It has been an absolute pleasure working with the Azerbaijani leadership. Your professionalism and focus has never failed to impress us.”
There will be more than 1,000 torchbearers in total. The torch will be transported over ground by bus, funicular railway, bicycle; underground on the Baku metro; on water by boat; and in the air by plane.
The torch is a symbol of Azerbaijan’s culture. The Baku 2015 Torch and Lamp was designed by Sebastian Bergne. They are engineered and crafted using materials and techniques inspired by traditional Azerbaijani metalwork.
The torch measures 660 mm high, and its body features a pomegranate tree, echoing the Baku 2015 brand. The copper head that protects the flame is also in the form of a pomegranate – its 50 pips representing the number of nations participating in the Games.
(Pictured below: Minister Rahimov, Pat Hickey, Catherine Ugwu and children dressed in the national costume)