Azerbaijan is a country with the rich sports traditions. These traditions have a thousand-year history, thorny paths of the development.
Azerbaijan regained its independence on October 18, 1991, but anarchy reigned here in the first years of its independence. The aforementioned event, as well as the involvement of the country in the war because of the aggression by the Armenian armed forces, the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan by the Armenian armed forces dealt a heavy blow to the republic's sport and seriously hampered its development.
In 1990-1993 due to neglect, many sports centers fell into decay. They were not used for their intended purpose, were destroyed sports equipment and accessories. Highly qualified and promising athletes, talented sports specialists and coaches began to leave the country. The sport remained outside the field of vision of the state. In 1992, the need arose to create the national federations and the National Olympic Committee in Azerbaijan.
On January 14, 1992, at an all-republican conference, the National Olympic Committee was established. When the Olympic Games began in Barcelona in 1992, the International Olympic Committee had not yet recognized the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan. Therefore, only five Azerbaijani athletes were able to take part in the Olympic Games in Barcelona as part of the national team of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
In November 1992, the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee in Acapulco decided to include the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan in the continental organization. The International Olympic Committee recognized the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan at the General Assembly of the committee in September 1993 in Monaco. Thus, was created a fertile ground for the activities of the National Olympic Committee. Unfortunately, in the first period of its activity, the Olympic Committee was unable to organize the work at the proper level.
In October 1993, after the election of Heydar Aliyev as a President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the attitude towards sports in the country changed. The President of Azerbaijan has always paid great attention to the development of the Olympic movement and sports in the republic. At numerous meetings of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev with athletes and sports figures, always was highlighted the development of the Azerbaijani sports and the Olympic movement.
Independent Azerbaijan has joined the main international conventions in the field of sports.
In April 1994, the President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the Association of the National Olympic Committees Mario Vasquez Rana and the President of the European Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge visited Azerbaijan. During the visit, were discussed the real situation and prospects for the development of the Olympic movement in Azerbaijan.
In July 1994, in Azerbaijan was established the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The tasks assigned to the ministry concerned the development of physical culture and sports in the country. On December 23, 1997, the Milli Majlis adopted the Law on Physical Education and Sports. On April 18, 2001, was established the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In 1997, was held a regular session of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan. At the meeting, the first vice-president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, was elected as a president of the NOC. The year of 1997 went down in history as a turning point in the activities of the National Olympic Committee.
By the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, dated January 30, 2006 was established the Ministry of Youth and Sports based on the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
By the order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated March 4, 2005, in our country, March 5, celebrated every year as the Day of Physical Culture and Sports.
By the order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated October 10, 2005, was implemented the "State program for the development of football in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2005-2015".
By the order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated May 5, 2009, was implemented the State Program for the Development of Chess in Azerbaijan for 2009-2014.
On June 30, 2009, was adopted the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Physical Culture and Sports".
A bright page of our participation in the Olympic Games began from the XXVII Summer Olympic Games, held in 2000 in Australian city of Sydney. At the Sydney Olympics, the Azerbaijani national team took 34th place among 199 participating countries. Our Olympians took 23rd place among European countries. Then at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, our athletes took 50th place among 202 countries, in the team event at the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 -39th place, 30th place among 204 countries participating in XXXI Summer Olympics in London 2012, 39th place in XXXI Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro 2016.
On June 12, 2015, at the Baku on the Olympic Stadium, took place the opening ceremony of the first European Games "Baku-2015". More than 6,000 athletes in 20 sports represented their countries at this 17-day spectacular sporting event. For the first time, the European Games brought together 50 countries at their competition sites. Azerbaijani athletes, having won 56 awards, including 21 gold, 15 silver and 20 bronze medals, came second in the team competition and thus proved once again that we are a sports country.
On May 12-22, 2017, the IV Islamic Solidarity Games took place in Baku. Azerbaijani athletes, delighting our people with their brilliant victories, took first place in the competition, in which athletes from 40 countries took part. Our athletes won 162 medals (75 gold, 50 silver and 37 bronze).
The II European Games took place in the capital of the Republic of Belarus, in the city of Minsk, from 21 to 30 June. On the II European Games 85 of our athletes have won licenses, 53 of them are men and 33 are women. Azerbaijani athletes won 28 (5 gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze) awards at the II European Games, which made them tenth in the medal standings of the competition.
The 15th Summer European Youth Olympic Festival, organized in Baku in July 2019, has become another field for the victories of the future sports stars. More than 3600 athletes from 48 countries competed for the title of the winner. The national team of Azerbaijan, having bypassed all European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Spain, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belarus, Switzerland, Austria and others, except Russia, Great Britain and Turkey, won 23 medals at the festival and took 4th place in the overall team competition.
The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics took place in the summer of 2021, due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Azerbaijani athletes, who won 3 silver and 4 bronze medals at the XXXII Summer Olympic Games "Tokyo-2020", took 67th place, and 31st in the overall medal standings.
To achieve mass sports, a healthy lifestyle for young people and rid them of bad habits, the 48 Olympic sports complexes put into operation in the country.
In order to develop various sports in Azerbaijan, there are federations for: rowing, weightlifting, equestrian sports, shooting, athletics, basketball, badminton, boxing, judo, alpine skiing, wrestling, gymnastics, field hockey, table tennis, archery , taekwondo, volleyball, handball, triathlon, cycling, sailing, rugby, golf and the Association of Football Federations.
The decree signed by President Ilham Aliyev on the working out of the Development Concept "Azerbaijan 2020: A Look into the Future" implements the Development Strategy for 2013-2023 with the aim of promoting a healthy and active lifestyle of Azerbaijani youth and ensuring their integration into society.