Baku 'Disappointed' Not to be Selected as Candidate City
Quebec City, 23 May 2012 – Azerbaijan’s Minister for Youth and Sports, Azad Rahimov, has expressed his disappointment that Baku was not selected by the IOC to move forward as a Candidate City to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
Following the announcement at the SportAccord convention in Quebec, Canada, Minister Rahimov said: “We are obviously very disappointed that Baku was not selected as one of the Candidate Cities to host the 2020 Games. We wanted to prove that an Olympic Games was not only a sound investment in a nation’s sport, health and quality of life, but that it could be hosted in a responsible manner which, in turn, provided the Olympic Movement with a sustainable Games hosting model for the future.”
“We offer our sincere congratulations to the new Candidate Cities of Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo and wish them all the very best of luck in their respective quests to host the 2020 Games.”
“The IOC’s decision is a setback, but I can assure you that we will listen and learn from the feedback that the IOC has offered us about our 2020 Bid – and then we will come back again next time even stronger. Our nation is on an astonishing march towards progress. We are investing heavily in services and infrastructure, to improve the future of our people and the region. We are very encouraged that this has been recognised by the IOC in its Working Group report.”
“However, the measure of great character is how you recover from disappointments such as these – in particular in the world of sport. To quote the great Pierre de Coubertin: ‘The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.’”
The IOC Working Group report highlighted many of the positive elements of Baku’s Bid, including its clear vision to transform the city into a world-class destination and a Games plan closely aligned with the city’s long-term development plan.
In addition, the report noted the high levels of support from both public and government that the Bid enjoyed; the significant environmental remediation plan to improve the city’s urban environment; and the compact Games concept with short travel times for everyone involved.
“Baku’s aspirations, vision and commitment are evident,” the report concludes.
Madrid, Istanbul, and Tokyo will now move forward as Candidate Cities to host the 2020 Games. The eventual Host City will be elected in Buenos Aires on 7 September 2013, at the 125th Session of the International Olympic Committee.