It is impossible to talk about sports success without children's and youth’s sports, said President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
He made the remarks at a ceremony dedicated to sports results of 2017 at the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee (NOC) on Dec. 18, APA reported.
"I’m glad that our young athletes also give us joy with their victories. It is impossible to talk about sports success without children’s and youth’s sports. The younger generation also grow, participate in competitions, gain victories, and consequently our sports successes continue. If we look at the results of all summer Olympic Games we've participated in, every time we have won a larger number of medals. That is due to the preparation of athletes and involvement of young people and teenagers,” the president.
The head of state noted that Azerbaijan ranked 14th worldwide in terms of the number of medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“This is a historic victory. It was impossible to imagine this victory a few years ago. We gained this victory only in 25 years. That is, we won such a great victory at the Rio Olympics, which coincided with the celebration of the 25th anniversary of our independence,” he said.
The Azerbaijani people once again proved to the whole world that sports in Azerbaijan are at a high level, stressed President Aliyev.
“If you look at sports results, we can see that in most cases sports are rapidly developing only in developed countries because of a great deal of money invested. Hence the development of sports is important in terms of our development in general terms,” he added.
The head of state pointed out that Azerbaijan has followed a successful path of development in every direction in recent years.
According to the president, Azerbaijan’s strong economic opportunities, its strengthening position in the international arena and the recognition of Azerbaijan worldwide as a respected country certainly create conditions for common successes.
“Sports are an integral part of society. I’d like to note that most of our athletes, especially famous ones, in their everyday life, are an example for young people. The victories of our athletes inspire children, teenagers and young people. They also want to be famous champions, achieve great successes, raise the flag of their country, and want the people to know and respect them,” he added.
President Aliyev recalled that the 25th anniversary of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee was marked this year.
“The Azerbaijani state will continue to take care of athletes, and we will do our utmost to develop the sports in the country. I wish our athletes new victories, successes,” he said.
At the end of his speech, the head of state congratulated all the athletes present at the ceremony on the occasion of the forthcoming New Year and the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis.