The funds allocated for sports development and infrastructure projects in both Azerbaijan’s districts and Baku have been yielding results in recent years, said President of Azerbaijan, President of the National Olympic Committee Ilham Aliyev.
The Olympic Movement and sport in Azerbaijan are developing successfully and rapidly, President Aliyev said addressing a solemn ceremony marking the 25th jubilee of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee (NOC), APA reported.
"Azerbaijan is known as a sporting country in the world. Sport is a state policy in Azerbaijan. While pursuing its policy in this direction, the state has achieved a thorough development in sport,” he said.
The head of state said that all relevant bodies, including the National Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, sports communities, federations and clubs pursue the same goal – to develop sports in Azerbaijan, achieve more sport popularity, and ensure Azerbaijani athletes give us joy.
“Thanks to this co-operation and the coordination between all structures responsible for sport, Azerbaijan has achieved great success in the field of sports in the international arena,” President Aliyev said. “Of course, first of all, we had to create conditions for sports, and numerous modern Olympic sports facilities have been built and put into operation in Azerbaijan thanks to state investments in this direction. It is enough to mention that about 50 modern Olympic venues have been built in Azerbaijan’s districts.”
He noted that today Baku has the most modern sports infrastructure.
“Sports facilities built in previous years have been overhauled, and several large stadiums and gyms have been built in recent years. Among them, of course, I have to mention the Olympic Stadium with a capacity of about 70,000 spectators,” the president said.
“The National Gymnastics Arena, the Water Sports Palace and the Baku Shooting Center are modern sports facilities that require large investments. At the same time, there is a sports town in Baku. In other words, the funds allocated for sports development and infrastructure projects in both Azerbaijan’s districts and Baku have been yielding results in recent years,” he added.
The president reminded that Azerbaijan, for the first time as an independent country, took part in the Olympic Games in 1996 and won only one medal.
“Twenty years later, at the Rio Olympic Games, Azerbaijani athletes won 18 medals. For the number of medals, the Azerbaijani team ranked 14th in the standings. This is the most beautiful indicator of the development of sports in Azerbaijan,” he said.
The president noted that Azerbaijani athletes achieve great success in European and world championships.
“This year our two athletes became three-time world champions in freestyle wrestling and boxing. This is also a historic achievement. In other words, today Azerbaijan is one of those countries with a very strong sports potential. We take a comprehensive approach to the issue of infrastructure and the training of athletes. Once again I want to note that all relevant structures are striving for the same goal, and that is why we were able to make these achievements in sport,” he added.