Riga bids to become European Capital of Sport in 2021
The European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation will decide this fall whether Riga will be the European Capital of Sport in 2021, as the federation's Vicepresident John Swanson told a press conference in Riga today.
Riga Deputy Mayor Andris Ameriks today submitted to Swanson the Riga City Council's bid for the title of the European Capital of Sport in 2021.
The author of the idea of the European Capital of Sport is Professor Gian Francesco Lupattelli, who at the end of the 1990’s, observed that there were many local governments across Europe that were not doing much to popularize sports, while other municipalities were taking active part in organization of various athletic activities. In cooperation with Spanish and Italian officials, the concept of the European Capital of Sport was developed to praise and honor cities which actively contribute to fostering healthy lifestyle.
Madrid was the first city to be named the European Capital of Sport in 2001. The award has since been presented to such cities as Dublin, Copenhagen, Istanbul and others.
This year, Marseille is the European Capital of Sport, Sofia will take over in 2018, Budapest in 2019 and Malaga in 2020.
The other cities that seek the title of European Capital of Sport in 2021 are Hague and Lisbon, but Riga is the first to submit its bid, said Swanson.