Organizers: We've proved skeptics wrong on inaugural European Games in Baku

Associated Press

Organizers of the inaugural European Games believe they have overcome the skeptics who questioned the need for another multi-sports event in an already-crowded calendar.

The Azerbaijani capital of Baku is preparing to host Europe's first Olympic-style continental games from June 12-28.

Continue Reading Below

Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees, says "when we got permission to do a feasibility study for these games six or eight years ago, many laughed and joked, and thought this would never happen."

"Now we are in the final straight."

Simon Clegg, chief operating officer for the games, says "there was a degree of skepticism but we have addressed all those points, and now there is a universal enthusiasm for this event across all the European NOCs."

More than 6,000 athletes from nearly 50 countries will compete in 20 sports.