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European Games MINSK 2019


The 2nd European Games MINSK 2019 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 2020 Tokyo Olympics berths.

Team Belarus showed good results at the 1st 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 2nd European Games

Decision to award Belarus the right to host the 2nd 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, extensive experience in hosting high-level international competitions, qualified specialists and, of course, support from the NOC head, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

“The European Games will be a good opportunity to test strength ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics and will help unite the spirit of European athletes,” said EOC President Janez Kocijancic who immediately visited Belarus after being appointed the 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.

Date

At the meeting in the Macedonian capital of Skopje on 20 May 2017 the EOC Executive Committee approved the date of the 2nd European Games in Minsk: the opening ceremony will be held on 21 June, and the competitions will be running from 21 to 30 June 2019. Tickets for the 2nd European Games will be available on same on 1 December.

Program

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.

Arenas

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)

As Minsk is preparing for the 2019 European Games it aims to build new sports facilities meeting the international standards. For instance, the Palace of Rhythmic Gymnastics that opened in Minsk in 2018 is called one of the best in the world. Dinamo Stadium reopened on 21 June 2018 after major renovations. The stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2019 European Games and an athletics tournament.

A beach soccer stadium designed for 1,500 seats will be constructed for the European Games near the Olympiysky Sports Center. In 2018 the new stadium will host a BSWW Euro Beach Soccer League event as a test tournament ahead of the games.

A new building of the National Scientific and Practical Sports Center will be commissioned in September 2018. Athletes will be able to undergo all necessary 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 2nd 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 2nd 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 become a champion.

An open contest to design the mascot for the European Games MINSK 2019 was organized in 2017. The idea behind the mascot is to celebrate Olympic values and relate to the Bright Year, Bright You slogan.

The candidates for the mascot included Belarusian fauna species (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 2nd European Games has not been unveiled yet.

Star Ambassadors of 2nd European Games MINSK 2019

Star ambassadors will attract public attention to the games, promote and build a positive image of the upcoming event in Belarus and abroad. Outstanding personalities from the world of sports, arts and culture will popularize sports included in the program of the 2nd European Games.

Star Ambassadors of the 2nd European Games MINSK 2019:

  • Four-time Olympic champion, Hero of Belarus Darya Domracheva
  • Famous circus animal tamers brothers Askold and Edgard Zapashny
  • Olympic canoeing champion Alexander Bogdanovich
  • Belarusian marathoner Volha Mazuronak
  • Three-time Olympic wrestling champion Alexander Medved
  • Blogger and TV presenter Anna Bond
  • Pianist and conductor, artistic director of the International Yuri Bashmet Festival Rostislav Krimer.

Visa-free program during 2nd European Games MINSK 2019

In 2018 Belarus launched a thirty-day visa-free program for citizens of 74 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 even more convenient conditions during the European Games similar to the visa-free travel during the 2014 IIHF World Championship. Belarus will grant visa-free entry for the participants, officials and organizers of the games and other specialists as from 20 May  2019 and  fans starting 10 June.

The competitions will last for almost two weeks. The government will extend the duration of visa-free stay for the European Games participants and guests till 10 July 2019. 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 developing new excursions programs to every taste and budget.

Minsk transport infrastructure

In the buildup to the 2nd European Games 2019 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 2nd European Games 2019 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 2nd European Games MINSK 2019

The registration of volunteers for the 2nd European Games MINSK 2019 kicked off in 2017 and will last through 1 April 2019. The candidates must speak foreign languages and know the specifics of different sports. Over 9,000 applications had been submitted by July 2018, a year before the official start of the games, including from the United States, Australia, Mexico and Egypt.

About 8,000 volunteers will be recruited to work at 11 sports venues. Volunteers will receive training in various fields, including language courses and organizational programs, sports and team escort specifics. The organizers have developed a special plan of training events.

Media accreditation, information partners, TV broadcasting

Spain’s International Sports Broadcasting SL has been chosen to stream the 2nd European Games MINSK 2019 events and competition program in Minsk.

Ticketpro has been named the official ticket operator. Ticketpro will work in tandem with the 2nd European Games travel agency Tsentrkurort. The national partner to secure innovative solutions and the construction of the technical infrastructure for the forthcoming games will be Mobile TeleSystems (MTS).

Kesher-Faktor, a company from Israel, will be a foreign partner of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2nd European Games MINSK 2019. The company has extensive experience in running large-scale international events.

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