Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and president of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov and Russian Minister of Sports Vitaly Mutko opened the Russian House in Baku several hours before the start of the first-ever European Games, Friday. The ministers were accompanied by several Russian athletes, among them ice hockey legend Vladislav Tretyak. The inaugural edition of the European Games is to begin Friday evening. Some 6,000 athletes representing the countries of the National Olympic Committee of Europe are set to take part in 20 different sports, at 18 different venues; many of which have been built especially for the event. Baku was granted the right to host the games at the 41st European Olympic Committee in Rome, on December 8, 2012. Hereafter the games will take place every four years, with the next competition due to take place in 2019.
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