State and public organizations in Azerbaijan are actively involved in solving everyday problems of athletes, said President of Azerbaijan, President of the National Olympic Committee Ilham Aliyev.
“According to annual results, more than twenty prominent athletes are provided by the state with apartments, awards, and stipends every year. That is, we are constantly trying to support our athletes because today sport has become a very important social factor in Azerbaijan,” President Aliyev said addressing a solemn ceremony marking the 25th jubilee of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee (NOC), APA reported.
"Being an athlete is a very honorable profession. Respect for athletes is great in society. I must also point out that our athletes behave decently in sport and in their everyday life,” he said.
According to the president, athletes, their successes, as well as value and support given to them by the state, of course, attract children to sports.
“Children also realize that if they become a great success in sports, then both the people and the state will appreciate them. Thus sport among teenagers and children is also successfully developing in Azerbaijan," he said.
The head of state stressed that there are good conditions for sports in all districts of Azerbaijan.
"The successful performance of our champions and their victories attract young people and children to sports. Every time our athletes raise our flag in international competitions, every patriotic Azerbaijani experiences a sense of pride,” said the president expressing gratitude to the Azerbaijani athletes for their victories and for giving the joy of victory to the people.
“At the end of my speech, I would also like to touch on one issue. Today, we are accustomed to Azerbaijan’s sports successes. Some believe that it should be so. We should look back to the past, compare and see that if Azerbaijan, which is a relatively small country, ranks 14th in the Rio Olympics, this is indeed a historic event. We have always had strong athletes. In Soviet times, our athletes decently represented us in the USRR national teams. But, of course, today’s achievements are incomparably different from the previous ones,” he added.
The president recalled that a few days ago, the world's leading economic structure, the Davos World Economic Forum announced the competitiveness index of the economies of the countries.
“Over the year, Azerbaijan has risen by 2 steps and ranked 35th, the first in the CIS. That is, the economies of some 140 countries were analyzed. Among them, Azerbaijan – a young independent state – ranks 35th. Due to what it became possible? I became possible due to the thoughtful policy and the people-power unity, which is based on our independence. Independence is our greatest happiness and wealth. Most of the medal winners who glorify the country nowadays were born and raised in the period of independence,” he said.
Azerbaijan will continue to develop successfully in the path of independence, added President Aliyev.