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European Games 2019 in Minsk

The Second European Games will take place in the capital of Belarus, Minsk, from 21 to 30 June 2019. The continent's biggest sports forum will feature more than 4,000 athletes from 50 countries who will compete for 208 sets of medals in 15 sports (23 disciplines) and the licenses for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Team Belarus showed good results at the first European Games in Baku in 2015, finishing 7th in the overall medal standings with 43 medals (10 gold, 11 silver and 22 bronze).

Minsk is the host city of the Second European Games

Decision to award Belarus the right to host the Second European Games was taken on 21 October 2016 following the voting of delegates from 50 countries at the 45th meeting of the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in Minsk.

The arguments in favor of Minsk included a well-developed sports infrastructure, the impressive experience in hosting high-level international competitions, qualified specialists and, of course, support from the NOC head, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

“The Games will be a good rehearsal before the Tokyo Summer Olympics and will help unite European athletes,” said EOC President Janez Kocijancic who immediately visited Belarus after becoming the formal head of this influential sports organization.

The contract to conduct the European Games outlining the basic principles of the forum was signed by Minsk Mayor Office and the EOC Executive Committee on 1 September 2017. It stipulates the information on tickets, accreditation, accommodation, the opening and closing ceremonies.


At the meeting in the Macedonian capital of Skopje on 20 May 2017 the EOC Executive Committee approved the date of the Second European Games in Minsk: the opening ceremony will be held on 20 June, and the competitions will be held from 21 to 30 June 2019.


Directorate of the Second European Games received a record high number of applications from the federations in 43 sports. However, the organizers decided to make the maximum use of the existing infrastructure and to hold competitions in the most popular sports.

The 2019 European Games will feature 15 sports: badminton, 3x3 basketball, boxing, wrestling (freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, women’s wrestling), cycling (track and road), gymnastics (artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatics, aerobics, and trampoline), rowing (kayak and canoe competitions), judo, karate, track and field athletics, sambo, archery, shooting (including clay target shooting), table tennis, and beach football.

Ten sports will offer qualifications for the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo: badminton, boxing, cycling, rowing and canoeing, judo, karate, athletics, archery, rifle and shotgun shooting, table tennis except for gymnastics and wrestling (selection will be held separately) and the sports not yet included in the Olympic program (3x3 basketball, sambo and beach football).

Athletics, one of the most spectacular sports, will be presented at the European Games in the new mixed gender team-based format. The competitions will feature 30 teams (over 20 athletes, both men and women, on every team). The engaging new format will include 10 events, with a focus on the key concepts of athletics: running, jumping and throwing. There will be up to 30 mixed gender teams, made up of approximately 23 male and female athletes (including reserves), competing in a knock-out format over five days.

The program of the European Games also includes the European Judo Championships which will gather best athletes from 45 to 48 countries in Chizhovka Arena.


In January 2017 Minsk hosted the Inspection Commission led by EOC Sport Director Pierce O’Callaghan who came to examine the preparedness of the Belarusian capital for the 2019 European Games. After checking all the arenas, hotels and the Student Village the specialists noted that Minsk was 100% ready for the upcoming forum.

The venues of the 2019 European Games:

  • Minsk Arena (artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatics, aerobics and trampoline; track cycling)
  • Dinamo Stadium (athletics; the opening and closing ceremonies)
  • Chizhovka Arena (judo, karate)
  • Sports Palace (sambo, Greco-Roman wrestling, freestyle wrestling, women's wrestling)
  • Olympiysky Sports and Recreation Center (beach soccer, archery)
  • Falcon Club sports and entertainment center (badminton)
  • Sporting Club sports and shooting center (skeet shooting)
  • Marshal Timoshenko Sports and Shooting Center (gun shooting)
  • Palova Arena (3x3 basketball)
  • Tennis Palace (table tennis)
  • Uruchye sports center (boxing)
  • Rowing canal in Zaslavl (rowing and canoeing)
  • Minsk Football Indoor Center (press center)

The main task of the preparations for the 2019 European Games is to build new sports facilities meeting the international standards. For instance, the Palace of Rhythmic Gymnastics opened in Minsk in 2018. The new sports center is called one of the best in the world. The large-scale reconstruction of the famous Dinamo Stadium was completed in 2018. The stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2019 European Games and a track and field tournament.

A beach soccer stadium with 1,500 seats will be constructed specially for the European Games near the Olympiysky Sports Center. The new stadium will host a test tournament under the aegis of Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW) in 2018.

A new building of the National Scientific and Practical Sports Center will be commissioned in September 2018. Athletes will be able to undergo all medical and comprehensive scientific tests in the center ahead of international competitions. The facility will provide health and recovery services to the 2019 European Games participants.

Symbols and mascot

The forthcoming Second European Games will be held under the motto Bright Year, Bright You. Belarus presented the motto at the meeting of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in Skopje on 21 May 2017. Another slogan, The Time of Great Victories, will also be used in Russian and Belarusian.

The logo of the Second European Games has been inspired by the slogan “Follow Your Dream”. In Belarus, there is a legend about a fern flower. The one who will find the flower on Kupala Night will have all his wishes and dreams come true. The athletes from all over Europe who will gather in Minsk in June 2019 will follow their dream to win a valuable award.

An open contest to design the mascot for the 2019 European Games in Minsk was organized in 2017. The main task for the mascot design was to celebrate Olympic values and relate to the Bright Year, Bright You slogan.

The candidates included Belarusian animals (stork and European bison) and exotic ones (for instance, tiger), and also traditional flowers – cornflower, bellflower, and dandelion.

According to the organizers, the fern flower and Kupala bonfire should become the main inspiration for the mascot. It is quite symbolic as the forum will take place in the run-up to the Kupala Night festivals in Belarus.

The official mascot of the Second European Games has not been unveiled yet.

Visa-free program during 2019 European Games

In 2017 Belarus launched a five-day visa-free program for citizens of 80 countries entering Belarus via Minsk National Airport. The government also set in motion a visa-free program with different periods of stay for nationals of several countries that can enter Belarus through any border checkpoint. The organizers will offer some more convenient conditions during the European Games, similar to the visa-free travel during the 2014 IIHF World Championship.

The competitions will last for almost two weeks. The government plans to extend the duration of visa-free stay for the European Games participants and guests. Foreign tourists will have an opportunity to support their athletes and visit Belarusian landmarks.

Minsk Guest Card has been designed for tourists coming to the Belarusian capital. It is basically a tourist program which provides discounts and bonuses for museums, shopping centers, restaurants, and cafes. A special edition  of Minsk Guest Card will be offered for the European Games. It will include proposals of special interest to athletes and fans.

Various maps, guidebooks, and pocket encyclopedias will be available in retail. Belarusian travel agencies are busy with developing new excursions programs.

Minsk transport infrastructure

In the buildup to the Second European Games Minsk will upgrade its bus and trolleybus fleets and develop an integral public transport lane system. In 2018 the Belarusian capital plans to use at least 60 electric buses that recharge in five minutes and last for 13 miles (saving up to 14% in energy costs).

A comprehensive plan of transport services will be employed during the Second European Games. The plan is based on the experience of the hosts of the previous Olympics and the First European Games: Beijing, London, and Baku. The idea is to ensure a 30-minute travel to any sports facility in the capital.

See for yourselves what metropolitan transport with European Games Minsk 2019 logos will look like!

The second runway at Minsk National Airport and upgraded Minsk-Grodno М6 and Minsk-Mikashevichi Р23 highways will be ready to welcome guests preferring to travel by plane or car.

Accommodation: hotels and a fan village

According to the preliminary data, Minsk is expected to host at least 30,000 tourists and about 10,000 guests, including 4,000 athletes, 2,000 judges, 1,000 journalists, 3,000 official representatives of the European Olympic Committees, VIPs, and support staff.

Apart from the hotels available in the Belarusian capital, five more hotels will open their doors to provide 1,300 additional places. Hotels in Minsk District will be able to accommodate up to 4,000 guests.

The Memorandum on Hotel Price Control during the 2019 European Games will secure comfortable conditions for guests. Budget hotels will envisage a package of services, including accommodation, transfer, catering, and rental of football pitches, skiing stadiums, ice rinks and cycle tracks.

During the 2014 IIHF World Championship many fans lived in the fan village in Dzerzhinskogo Avenue. Plans are in place to use the fan village during the 2019 European Games.

A 25-storied hostel for 1,800 guests will open in the Minsk Student Village by December 2018. The entire student compound is designed to accommodate 8,740 people. The Student Village will also include a catering pavilion for the official participants of the competitions.

Volunteers at 2019 European Games

The registration of volunteers for the 2019 European Games kicked off in 2017. The candidates must speak foreign languages and know the specifics of different sports. Over 8,000 applications have been submitted so far.

About 6,000 volunteers will work at 11 sports venues of the capital. Volunteers will receive training in various fields, including language courses and organizational programs, sports and team escort specifics.

Media accreditation, information partners, TV broadcasting

Spain’s International Sports Broadcasting SL has been chosen to stream the 2019 European Games events and competition program in Minsk.

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