“The holding of the 1st European Games is a very significant event not only for Azerbaijan and Russia, but also for Europe at large. It is a world-level event, and I would like to stress this moment. As it is well known, sport unites nations. The European Games will be a source of peaceful news for almost a month. In my view, this is very good. The more such events, the kinder nations of the European continent will be.”
These words were uttered by Alina Kabayeva, Chairperson of Russia’s “Natsionalnaya Media Gruppa” Holding’s Board of Directors, an Olympic champion, a world and European champion, Russia’s Honoured Master of Sport, during her interview to Yulia Tkachova, a correspondent of “Moskva-Baku” Portal.
According to A.Kabayeva, the fact that the Organizing Committee of the 1st European Games is headed by Mehriban Aliyeva is of significant importance. She said: “This means that sport events are supported at a state level, and Azerbaijan has been approaching the solution of all matters associated with the European Games with much responsibility. I haven’t met Mehriban Aliyeva personally, but I’m very well informed of how much contribution she has made to development of sport, including rhythmic gymnastics, in her country. This beautiful and energetic woman, who, in the meantime, very well suits our sports type, has been heading the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation since early 2000s. Due to her efforts, rhythmic gymnastics has risen to such level in the republic that they started to receive medals at world-level competitions. If earlier Azerbaijan’s primary sport achievements were associated with wrestling, under the leadership of the first lady, gymnasts started to win medals. The holding of the world championship on rhythmic gymnastics in Azerbaijan in 2005 following Mehriban Aliyeva’s initiative was a proof of achieving the world level.”
Underscoring that position of the rhythmic gymnastics has always been solid in Azerbaijan, A.Kabayeva said: “As far as I’m informed, gymnastics is today one of the most beloved sports types in the Republic.”