European Games

European Games
  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Diving
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Sambo
  • Shooting
  • Swimming
  • Synchronised swimming
  • Table tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Wrestling
Other EOC Games

The European Games is an international multi-sport event in the Olympic tradition contested by athletes from European nations. The Games were envisioned and are to be governed by the European Olympic Committees (EOC), which announced their launch at its 41st General Assembly in Rome, on 8 December 2012.[1] The 2015 European Games, the first edition of the event, took place in Baku, Azerbaijan in June 2015, and further editions are planned every four years thereafter. The 2019 edition is scheduled for Minsk, Belarus, having previously been awarded to the Netherlands, and Russia.

The European Games are the final continental Games to be initiated, after the Asian Games, Pan-American Games, Pacific Games and African Games. As of 2015, every continent[2] will have a continental games in the Olympic tradition.[3]

The European Games are not related to the European Sports Championships, an event organised by individual European sports federations, bringing together the individual European championships of athletics, swimming, artistic gymnastics, cycling, rowing, golf and triathlon under a single 'brand' on a four-yearly cycle beginning in 2018, and broadcast by agreement with the EBU.[4]

List of European Games

Host cities of the European Games
Edition Year Host City Host Nation Start Date End Date Nations Competitors Sports Events Top Placed Team
I 2015 Baku  Azerbaijan 12 June 28 June 50 5,898 20 253  Russia (RUS)
II 2019 Minsk  Belarus 14 June 30 June Future event


The Games have been criticised for being an unnecessary addition to the sporting calendar and for the lack of high quality in totem events such as athletics and swimming; moreover, the first edition of the Games has received significant criticism for being hosted by a despotic regime. Nick Cohen, a columnist for The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom, argued that Pat Hickey, EOC President and President of the OCI, set up the European Games despite there being "no need for them." Cohen argued that -

"Olympic sports already have their European championships. But – and you will only understand the seedy imperative that drives a disgraceful tournament when you grasp this – the European Olympic committees do not control the rival competitions."[5]

According to Cohen, Hickey had initially tried to get Belarus to host the event, giving Alexander Lukashenko an award for his 'Outstanding Contribution to the Olympic Movement'. However, Belarus was too poor to afford the games.[5] Instead Hickey turned to Azerbaijan which wanted to "win international prestige."[5]

The Games also received heavy criticism from organisations such as Sport for Rights calling for athletes to speak out against human rights violations in Azerbaijan. Many regime opponents were jailed in the run-up to the Games.[5]


The following sports were contested at the first event in Baku in 2015.[6][7]

See also


  1. "EOC LAUNCHES EUROPEAN GAMES". 8 December 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  2. Although the Pacific Games takes in all of Oceania/Australasia, the two largest countries in the region, Australia and New Zealand, did not participate because of the danger they would, though their wealth and size relative to other members, excessively dominate the event. They were however provisionally admitted to the Games in 4 sports in which other nations were consistently competitive - rugby sevens, weightlifting, sailing and taekwondo - in 2014.
  3. "Baku 2015 at a glance". 1 June 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  4. Scotland to host 2018 European Sports Championships
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Baku reminds us our top athletes are overgrown infants". Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  6. Mackay, Duncan (8 December 2012). "Baku to host first European Games in 2015". Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  7. "1st European Games". United World Wrestling. 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2015.

External links

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