Games News Service

  • Id: 55904

Closing Ceremony: speech by Mehriban Aliyeva

Chair of the Baku 2015 European Games Organising Committee and First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Your Excellency, Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

President of the European Olympic Committees, Patrick Hickey.

Your Excellencies.

European Games athletes.

Ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome to the Closing Ceremony of the first European Games.

Fellow countrymen!

I warmly congratulate you on the successful completion of the first European Games!

I’d like to express my deep gratitude to the Azerbaijani national team, European athletes and numerous guests for their friendliness, hospitality and support during the Games.

I hope there are many more victories for independent Azerbaijan, and wish happiness and prosperity for Azerbaijani people.

Dear friends,

The first European Games have come to an end. The last 17 days were remarkable and unforgettable in the history of Azerbaijan.

We are proud that the first European Games were held in our country.

We are proud that within only two and a half years Azerbaijan has turned its commitment into a reality, and delivered a sporting event of the highest standard.

Over the last 17 days we witnessed unity, solidarity and friendship between European nations.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people of Azerbaijan, and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, for their great support of the Games and the athletes.

The entire nation is proud of our athletes. They have won a total of 56 medals – including 21 gold medals – and finished second in the overall medals table. Athletes of Azerbaijan, your success makes you a great example to the next generation.

I would like to thank all the athletes who participated in these Games.

Thank you for making these first European Games such an unforgettable festival of sport.

You treated us to amazing performances of passion, courage and grace. These Games have been your Games, and your achievements have been truly inspirational.

Congratulations to you all.

I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to the European Olympic Committees and their President, Mr Patrick Hickey, whose vision and determination turned the idea of a European Games into a reality.

I would also like to thank Chair of the Coordination Commission, Spyros Capralos, for his invaluable guidance during our preparations.

Thank you to the members of the Games Organising Committee, and all our international partners, for your commitment and dedication.

Thank you to the many loyal fans who travelled from across Europe to support their teams. You celebrated victories. You offered comfort in defeat. You brought passion, excitement and a friendly atmosphere to the Games.

I would like to thank our wonderful volunteers. We could not have staged this event without you. Your enthusiasm and professionalism has helped us to bring the spirit of Baku 2015 to life. A country which has such a talented youth has a great future.

A big thank you also to our international volunteers. You travelled to Azerbaijan from across Europe to help us organise this historic event and to be a part of this festival of sport and friendship. We will miss you and hope you will come back.

Azerbaijan opened its arms and its heart to Europe. We welcomed old friends and made new ones.

This evening we say goodbye to you all. But we hope to see you back in Azerbaijan for future events.

Next year, Baku will host the forty-second Chess Olympiad and the Formula One European Grand Prix. In 2017, we will welcome the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games. And in 2020, European Championship football matches will be played in our city.

Tonight, we will extinguish the cauldron and bring the first European Games to a close.

As the curtain falls on this celebration of sport and friendship, I’m overwhelmed by an enormous sense of pride in our country and our people.

The past 17 days will live forever in our hearts. It will be an unforgettable moment in our history that passes down through the generations.

Thank you athletes!

Thank you friends!

Thank you Azerbaijan!