Azerbaijan’s Minister for Youth and Sports, Azad Rahimov, said following the announcement Wednesday at SportAccord in Quebec City, Canada, “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 recognized by the IOC in its Working Group report”.
He added, “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'”.