POSTED: January 6th 2014

EOC President Hickey excited for 2014, Baku 2015

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) European Olympic Committees President Thomas Hickey released a statement from Rome Monday with his outlook on the upcoming year. In his “New Year message,” Hickey also expresses his sadness regarding the recent terrorist attacks in Russia, the home of the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“The European Olympic Committees are looking forward to an exciting and important year for European and world sport in 2014,” Hickey’s message read.

“Our 49 member countries start the year preparing for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and I know they are determined to help make the Games a celebration of the finest athletic achievement.

“Like the rest of the world, I was shocked and saddened by the recent terrorist attacks in Volgograd, but I would like to reiterate [International Olympic Committee] President Thomas Bach’s words following the tragedy when he said that “terrorism must never triumph.”

“The EOC have complete faith in Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and the Russian authorities to deliver a safe and secure Games for all athletes and participants. As so many participating nations at Sochi 2014 are European, it is important we maintain our solidarity with Russia at this crucial time for the country and the Olympic Movement.

“The year ahead will also be important in preparing for the EOC’s own multi-sport event – the European Games, which will be held for the first time in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2015.

“The Games has the support of Azerbaijan’s First Lady, Mehriban Aliyeva, who is chair of the Organising Committee, and Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Azad Rahimov. The Organising Committee has 18 months to deliver what promises to be a world-class event and I am confident that Baku 2015 will make huge strides this year. The EOC Coordination Commission, led by President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, will be on hand to support the Committee throughout its preparations and ensure that Baku 2015 gives the European Games concept a fantastic lift-off. The Coordination Commission’s next visit to Baku is scheduled for 3-4 April 2014.

“The EOC have several other key appointments in the first half of 2014, including an Executive Committee meeting in Lausanne on 17 Jan. and another in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 22 May – when the 2014 EOC Seminar will also take place.

“2014 will be another important year in the continued fight against all forms of corruption in sport, particularly the scourges of match-fixing and doping. The integrity of sport is central to its appeal to participants and fans and the EOC will continue to play a crucial role in fighting these battles.

“So with the eyes of the sporting world focused on Europe, the EOC look forward to continuing as a stable and trusted partner in the Olympic Movement in 2014.

“May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a successful and peaceful year ahead.

“Yours in friendship in sport.”

Keywords · Olympics · International Olympic Committee · IOC · EOC · European Olympic Committees · Sochi · Sochi 2014 · Doping · Terrorism · Match-fixing · Thomas Bach · Thomas Hickey · Baku ·

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