Azerbaijan is a country known for its love of sport and sportsmanship.
Throughout Azerbaijan’s history, well-known sports such as wrestling, shooting, fencing, javelin and racing have enjoyed immense popularity. Competitive sports were first recorded in The Book of Dede Korkut, a collection of folklore from the 11th century to the 16th century AD, in which both male and female competitors are mentioned.
The Azerbaijani passion for sport is as strong as ever. As well as the widespread practice of mainstream sports, the traditional equestrian disciplines of surpapag, baharband and chovgan (a precursor of polo) also thrive in local communities.
During its short 22 years of independence, Azerbaijan has sent just under 200 athletes to represent the country at five Summer Olympics and four Winter Olympics and claimed 26 medals in boxing, shooting, judo, weightlifting and wrestling. In total, during this period of time, Azerbaijan sportsmen and women gained close to 2,000 medals in Olympic sports in numerous Europe, World and Cup championships, as well as winning many more in non-Olympic sports.
The majority of international sport events in Azerbaijan are held in the capital, Baku. However, multi-sport events, such as the Football FIFA under-17 Women’s World Cup, have taken place across venues in different cities. Thanks to its excellent arenas and facilities, Baku has hosted 36 major sporting events since 2002, including Taekwondo, Gymnastics, Wrestling, Volleyball, Football, Fencing, Tennis, Judo and Road Cycling.*Azerbaijan is also proud to be hosting the 2014 European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships.
The new venues being built for the first European Games, as well as renovations and upgrades of existing venues, will leave a lasting legacy for future generations of avid sports fans and the aspiring new athletes of Azerbaijan.
The list of the presentable sport events held in Azerbaijan:* 2002 European Championship Freestyle Wrestling
2003 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup
2004 European Olympic Qualification Tournament – Volleyball (Women)
2005 FIG World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships
2007 International Volleyball Tournament in the memory of Heydar Aliyev (Women)
2007 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championship
2007 ETU European Junior Taekwondo Championships
2007 FILA Wrestling World Championships
2009 WTF World Cup Para-Taekwondo World Championship
2009 WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo Championships
2009 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championship
2010 Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships
2010 ETU European Taekwondo Team Championships
2010 FILA Wrestling European Championships
2010 FILA Wrestling Golden Grand Prix Final
2011 WTF World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament for the London 2012 Olympic Games
2011 WTA Baku Cup – Tennis
2011 European Olympic Qualification Tournament – Volleyball (Women)
2011 IJF World Judo Masters
2011 FILA Wrestling Golden Grand Prix Final
2011 AIBA World Amateur Boxing Championships
2012 FIFA under-17 Women’s World Cup
2012 IWF Grand Prix – Baku International Cup
2013 World Powerboat Championship Race
2013 IJF Judo Grand Slam Baku
2013 Road Cycling Tour de Azerbaijan