Olympic Council of Ireland mark ‘100 Days to Go’ milestone for inaugural European Games taking place in Baku
62 Team Ireland Athletes including Katie Taylor will take part in the first ever European Games in Azerbaijan from June 12th – 28th 2015
The Olympic Council of Ireland is today marking the ‘100 Days to Go’ milestone to the opening ceremony of the historic first ever European Games taking place in Baku in Azerbaijan from June 12th to 28th this year.
Over 6,000 athletes from the 50 National Olympic Committees of Europe will compete in 20 sports over 17 consecutive days at Baku 2015. The inaugural games will consist of 16 Olympic sports, and four non-Olympic sports.
62 Team Ireland athletes are expected to take part in 11 sports:
- Aquatics – Swimming and Diving
- Basketball 3 x 3
- Cycling (Road Race, Time Trial and Mountain Bike)
Among those expected to represent Ireland in Baku 2015 are Katie Taylor, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlon (Boxing), Lisa Kearney (Judo), Jenny Burke, Tom Brennan and Simas Dobrovolski (Canoeing), Nicole Mawhinney and Andrew Smith (Gymnastics) and Aoife McDermott, Sara Woods and Suzanne Maguire (Basketball 3×3).
While the Irish athletes will be looking to become the first ever European Games champion of their sport, the Baku 2015 Games will also provide them with direct qualification opportunities for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Twelve of the sports will offer qualification prospects, namely Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Judo, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Volleyball and Wrestling.
As well as competing in Baku 2015, Irish Olympic boxing champion Katie Taylor has also been named as an international Athlete Ambassador for Baku 2015, alongside other well known European sporting figures such as British taekwondo athlete Jade Jones, French rhythmic gymnast Kseniya Moustafaeva and Denmark’s canoe sprinter René Holten Poulsen. Katie and her fellow Ambassadors will feature in marketing campaigns around Europe to promote the first European Games.
Katie Taylor took first place at the London 2012 Olympic Games and is the current Irish, European and World Champion in the 60kg weight division. Her medal haul at major competitions stands at 17 gold medals, including her Olympic title, five consecutive World Championships, six consecutive European Championships, and five European Union Championships, making her the most decorated athlete in the history of women’s Boxing.
Mr. Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Committees and Olympic Council of Ireland President, said:
“The Irish Delegation to the Baku 2015 European Games is an extremely strong one. We are delighted that 62 of our best athletes will get the chance to inspire future athletes and Irish Olympians across the 17 days of competition. With ‘100 days to go’, the Baku Games will be a great addition to the Irish Sports Calendar and will officially mark the start of an exciting few years for Irish Sport. While we are delighted that Katie Taylor will be representing Ireland at the games, we are also honoured that she has been appointed as an Athlete Ambassador for Baku 2015. As one of the world’s leading competitors in any sport, you couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for the first ever European Games.”
Dermot Henihan, Team Ireland Chef de Mission for the Baku Games, said:
“We are very much looking forward to seeing 62 of Ireland’s best athletes compete on an international stage amongst Europe’s elite. ‘100 days to go’ is a call out for Ireland to get behind the athletes who are well into their preparations for the games. The first ever European Games is an exciting opportunity to showcase the amazing sporting talents we have in Ireland to an international audience.”
Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, said:
“The inaugural European Games in Baku is an exciting and innovative new competition that will provide our athletes with top class competition and experience at a major multi-sport international event.”
Katie Taylor, Team Ireland Boxer and International Athlete Ambassador for Baku 2015, said:
“Baku 2015 will be great for European sport and I am delighted to be involved both as an Athlete Ambassador and as a competitor. I will be doing my best to raise the Games’ profile and get the word out to as many people as possible.”
The first ever European Games in Baku will take part in 18 competition venues across Azerbaijan, including five state of the art new stadiums, seven existing venues that are being upgraded and six temporary arenas. The newly built venues will host Gymnastics, BMX, Aquatics and Shooting. A new 68,000 seat, purpose-built stadium has also been erected for Athletics and for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the games. Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012 and The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organise and run the Games in cooperation with the EOC.
Irish viewers will be able to watch the Baku 2015 on Setanta Sports. The broadcaster has signed an agreement with Baku 2015 to screen eight hours sporting competitions per day, as well as daily highlights. The spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies will also be screened. A dedicated team of Setanta journalists will follow Baku 2015, focusing on Irish athletes participating at the Games.
The Olympic Council of Ireland have also announced the Global Athletic Brand ‘New Balance’ as the official provider of apparel and footwear to Irish Teams for the Baku 2015 games.
Find us on Facebook (TeamIrelandOCI) and Twitter (@olympiccouncil)
for regular updates on Baku 2015
For further information, please contact:
Lisa Porter / Niall McHugh
Tel: 01 522 5200 or 087 744 4067 (Lisa)
About the Olympic Council of Ireland:
The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), founded in 1922, is the National Olympic Committee for the island of Ireland. It represents 36 national sports federations, from athletics to wrestling. Its President, Patrick Hickey is an Executive Board member of the International Olympic Committee and President of the European Olympic Committees. The mission of the Olympic Council of Ireland is to manage and enhance the performance of Team Ireland at Olympic Games, whilst developing the Olympic Movement in Ireland
- To provide Team Ireland with the most effective athlete centred, performance driven operational planning and management at each Olympiad
- To maximize commercial value of the Olympic brand and provide long term financial security for the OCI
- To develop and protect the Olympic Movement in Ireland
- To provide Strategic Leadership and representation of Olympic Sport within Government, EOC and IOC.
- In addition, the OCI, as the National Olympic Committee, and under the Olympic Charter, aims:
1.To propagate the fundamental principles of Olympism
2.To encourage the development of high performance sport
3.To help in the training of Sports Administrators
4.To fight against doping and illegal betting
5.To preserve the autonomy of the NOC and resist pressure including political, religious and economic
6.To formulate opinions and convey to the IOC