Georgia Wins It!
02 December, 2010
Georgia Wins It!

 

‘Dear participants in the assembly, dear friends and colleagues’ – that’s the way I started the presentation of Georgia’s delegation to the 39th Assembly of European Olympic Committees in Belgrade in the early afternoon of November 27, 2010: ‘We are happy to greet you and at the same time we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Belgrade and to entire Serbia for their outstanding hospitality’. 
The event that took us to the capital city of Serbia meant a

lot for Georgia. We were there to win the bid for 2015 European Youth Festival, and we did it! Tbilisi will be hosting the Festival when time comes. Tbilisi overpowered Brno (the second largest city in the Czech Republic) by 26 votes against 21. Immediately after the presentation and the statement, following the counting of votes and promulgating the victory of Georgia in the competition, I ran up to the penal table to see Mr. Patrick Joseph Hickey, the president of EOC (European Olympic Committees). He gave me a big congrats hug and told me emotionally that ours was the best presentation – laconic, informative and entertaining. He specially emphasized the speech made by little Anna Baramidze in her perfect French. The boys’ drum quintet was also very effective, to say nothing about the brief word to the Assembly, made my Gigi Ugulava, Mayor of Tbilisi. He sounded very persuasive and confident, looked very attractive and exuded a lot of benevolence and readiness to do the job, provided Tbilisi emerged a winner. And that’s exactly what had happened – Capital of Georgia won one of the most prestigious sports bids, becoming the venue of EYOF in 2015. The main message to judges was ‘Welcome to Tbilisi – the city that loves you!’ But this was all a fa?ade, the front of it. The behind-the-scene activity was much more complicated; it was headed by the charming President of Georgian National Olympic Committee Gia Natsvlishvili. Gia has an uncanny acumen for correctly calculating every step towards the victory. He knows and feels how to plan and how to make useful changes and alterations right in the nick of the moment if the situation is prompting so. No doubt, the credit for the victory should go to his personality and professionalism. But Gia’s efforts were effectively complete because Ramaz Goglide, talented and experience ‘old guard’ is always at the side of President Natsvlishvili in those difficult and complicated Olympic doings and preparations. Ramaz is the man who knows exactly how to easily and quickly cover the distance between the GEONOC and the final winning result. What a team he and Gia make! Present at the ceremony was Vice Prime Minister of Georgia Gia Baramidze, whose solid support for the GEONOC will continue in the future too. I can’t help emphasizing that the video-recorded appeal to the EOC members, made by President Mikheil Saakashvili was extremely effective, having definitely done Georgia’s job. And all the above was masterfully orchestrated by stage director Doyashvili (a.k.a. Doy). Of course, the Georgian delegation was complete with Olympic champions Nino Salukvadze and Davit Gobejishvili, both winners of countless gold, silver and bronze medals at different challenging levels. I can’t believe I was part of all that, but frankly, I also did my job as it was needed and demanded of me. Thank God, I did not bungle anything. There was a chance though because the level of excitement and nervousness, especially at the last moment of the event was truly unbearable. Just imagine – the higher you go towards the summit, the lack of the oxygen becomes more evident. And we all weathered it with great skill and, most importantly, with genuine love for Georgia. But hey, what is ahead, is much heavier a load. To lift it successfully, we may need to turn on the entire country’s involvement and dedication. So what? Georgia is going to do it just as well as it had achieved the glorious victory in Belgrade.

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