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Baku 2015 European Games


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Bcuz Baku isn't really in Europe, like many in this thread have already pointed out. It's technically in Asia. Baku won the rights to host the "European" Games by default bcuz no actual European city bid for them.

Azerbaijan is a nation of only nine million located in Asia Minor. Therefore, nothing really compelling there for the IOC to make the effort.

Again, if you wanna make a comparison to Rio in that part of the world, look at Istanbul, located in Turkey. A country of over 77 million people that have already tried multiple times & came the closest for 2020, their last attempt.

Thanks for explain.

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Uh, Greeece has a bit more population than that and yet they still managed to host the games. The population argument is kinda invalid here.

Please don't tell me you're comparing the crane of the Olympics and crane of the Western Civilization with a small dictatorship with null Olympic legacy and irrelevance in social affairs like Azerbaijan. Perhaps they have the same population, but Greece is a complete different case in a sporting, cultural and political matter for the SOG than Azerbaijan.

I still don't get why we are still getting these type of analogies and discussions. Let's rewind a little bit:

Rio 2016 - Why was the city elected?

-Brazil is the fifth most populated country of the world

-Brazil is one of the 8 largest economies of the world

-Brazil is the regional power in South America with clear implication in international forums.

-Brazil is a big sporting nation. One of the 35 nations with most Olympic medals at the SOG. 5 FIFA World Cups, strong teams in swimming, volleyball, gymnastics and other disciplines. One of the top 3 sporting nations in the Americas after USA and Cuba.

-A young market with a growning middle-class.

-Advance in social rights (Brazil will be the first SOG country host with all rights and protections for the LGBT community).

-First time a Lusophone country (Portuguese is one of the ten most speaking languages around the world) as a SOG host.

-The opportunity of a new region

-A charismatic and respected leader by many people around the world like Lula da Silva as the face of the bid.

-One of the most famous cities around the world, known for the beaches, the nature and tourism, with a long history like Rio de Janeiro.

Yes, not everything is golden and there's still relevant issues, but when you consider these points, it's not rocket science the reasons of the decision. Brazil only need a perfect opportunity and the Pan Am gave the final card for them, but not because Pan Am automatically gave the status (If so, Cuba, Venezuela or Dominica Rep. Would have been favorites). Brazil was an unique case in South America, perhaps only having competition with Argentina for that.

Now Baku

-A country with oil and gas

-Lack of a strong Olympic history (With exception of a token sport, which also shared Iran and Turkey)

-A small country (9 million) located in a critical region

-A dictatorship with serious accusations of violation of human rights, lack of democracy and media censorship.

-Stagnation of middle class

-Maybe they have a long history, but Azerbaijan wasn't a huge country like his neighborns (Russia, Turkey, Iran)

The question will be - Why choosing Azerbaijan? Especially when you have the big Altaic brother near with better aspects like Turkey. Why choosing Baku when Istanbul is near? Or better yet, why choosing Azerbaijan when you have other European countries with more compelling cases like Netherlands and Hungary, for example.

People would said "But Kazakhstan"... Well these are WOG, which are more limited by topographic and weather issues, not like the SOG and second, 2022 WOG is perhaps the weakest olympic race in years. That's why Almaty has a real shot to win (Like happened with Seoul in 1988).

Yes, technically all ths countries can bid for the SOG, but that doesn't mean it has a real chance to win. It's like a person with zero trainning and old start playing a sport and want to enter in a team. He can make a call but to enter is unlikely.

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Bcuz Baku isn't really in Europe, like many in this thread have already pointed out. It's technically in Asia. Baku won the rights to host the "European" Games by default bcuz no actual European city bid for them.

Baku got to host the games because Azerbaijan is part of the European Olympic Committees, just like they're part of Eurovision and UEFA. They have every right to host based on that, just like Turkey and Israel. They're part of "Europe" according to these institutions.

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Like DamC said, they are legally part of Europe. They are members of the EOC so they are on their full right. Besides, let's face, a large part of Europe was influenced heavily by the Ottoman culture (The Balkans and Greece. Spain too but on this case by the Moorish). The biggest problem with Baku are both their questionable regime which hinders the human rights of its people, and not having a very long history at the olympics.

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Please don't tell me you're comparing the crane of the Olympics and crane of the Western Civilization with a small dictatorship with null Olympic legacy and irrelevance in social affairs like Azerbaijan. Perhaps they have the same population, but Greece is a complete different case in a sporting, cultural and political matter for the SOG than Azerbaijan.

I still don't get why we are still getting these type of analogies and discussions. Let's rewind a little bit:

Rio 2016 - Why was the city elected?

...

This was a awesome comparison!

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Azerbaijan might be physically in Asia, but for every other matter it's completely European, same as Georgia and Armenia.

Had Baku faced cities like Paris, Rome or Berlin for these European Games, it would have probably lost because any of the other cities is bigger, better known and has more experience, but if it was between Baku and, for example, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Seville, Krakow, etc., anybody could win. I don't think the fact that Baku is "less European" would affect its chances either positively or negatively.

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Like DamC said, they are legally part of Europe. They are members of the EOC so they are on their full right. Besides, let's face, a large part of Europe was influenced heavily by the Ottoman culture (The Balkans and Greece. Spain too but on this case by the Moorish).

Still if they want a Muslim European country, why choosinh the generic cousin when you have the original?

Regarding of Baku:

Not only big cities, even with medium sized cities like Budapest, Stockholm, Amsterdam or Manchester, Baku would most likely lose in the race. The point is, no one was interested in hosting this event, so that keep Baku winning.

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Azerbaijan might be physically in Asia, but for every other matter it's completely European, same as Georgia and Armenia.

Isn't geography the most important thing, though? I can understand why UEFA let Israel join since muslim countries would boycott any tournament Israel joined in Asia. But there's no reason why Azerbaijan and Armenia can't be a success in Asia. In fact their athletes would probably do better in Asia than Europe. That's why North America and South America are separated in football.

Of course Baku has every right -as a member of the EOC- to host a European event. It does seem a little strange to outsiders, though, that the first European Games is actually being held in Asia.

Edited by Nacre
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Of course Baku has every right -as a member of the EOC- to host a European event. It does seem a little strange to outsiders, though, that the first European Games is actually being held in Asia.

It being held in a country like Azerbaijan, which no one in real Europe considers to be part of Europe either, probably doesn't excite all the athletes. Hopefully the next European games is held in a location that can be truly called Europe, and that of course excludes Russia and Turkey.

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Isn't geography the most important thing, though?

Actually, I'm not sure. Sports federations are quite political too, aren't they?

The problem with European geography is that there's not a clear eastern border. Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Cyprus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan all lie somewhere within that border, so it's difficult to tell how much European or Asian they are. It's true Azerbaijan isn't a traditional European nation, but I don't really consider it Asian either.

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There is a clear border, though. It's the Ural & Caucasus mountains. The actual problem is, most people either don't know about it, are confused by it or simply won't be bothered by it (that seems to be most people in general).

Anything west of the Ural montiakns & north of Caucasus is Europe. So by geographical definition, none of those countries you listed (with the exception of far northwestern Turkey & Russia west of the Urals) are in Europe.

And if some of you still want to go by "political organizations", then Kazahkstan is neither, since they're not a member of the European Olympic council. So that is extremely far-fetched to bring them into the picture. Next thing you know some people will want to include Iraq, Iran & Qatar as part of "Europe".

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Part of Kazakhstan lies west of the Urals, they're in a similar situation to Russia. They even compete in Europe in sports like football.

Anyway, Europe is different from all the other continents. Europe is more of a historical, cultural, political idea than a merely geographical continent. Cyprus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, not to mention Israel, have always been more linked to Europe than to Asia. Why? I don't know, but that's the way it is.

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And if some of you still want to go by "political organizations", then Kazahkstan is neither, since they're not a member of the European Olympic council. So that is extremely far-fetched to bring them into the picture. Next thing you know some people will want to include Iraq, Iran & Qatar as part of "Europe".

The Azeris are a member of the European committee. From an organizational perspective they are in Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Olympic_Committees

I suppose it is a tribute to Europe that any country that can choose to associate with it does so. Even Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan want to be a part of the European bloc instead of the Asian.

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I suppose it is a tribute to Europe that any country that can choose to associate with it does so. Even Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan want to be a part of the European bloc instead of the Asian.

It would be if any of these Central Asian nations shared our democratic values...

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The Azeris are a member of the European committee.

That's why I specifically mentioned Kazahkstan, since someone else brought them up (& which you won't find in your 'link'). I already know that Azerbaijan is part of the European Olympic council.

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Very bombastic ceremony. A bit dissapointed that the flame was taken by the president himself instead of some priests like I expected then again we already know he is an attention whore :P

Also James Hadley reveals details of the closing ceremony

https://youtu.be/_hVmbxHu7Sw

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Why we're all being charmed by the glitz and glamour of the Baku venues, this is what many of the Azeri citizens are living through now. Once again, everything is just a facade.

Families living in poverty in the shadow of Azerbaijan's luxury sports stadiums

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/20/azerbaijan-european-games-shadow-poverty

As authorities invest heavily in hosting European Games, residents ask who will benefit from the event.

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33dc631b-b45a-45a9-9371-7b301ae10c5a-620a6775be7-376e-4c29-bb18-2d2f4f16afc0-620

Fucking circus. I'm so done with these events lately, to be honest. I'm glad they didn't picked Russia for 2019

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