By Daniel Etchells

Jeyran the gazelle and Nar the pomegranate have been unveiled as the Baku 2015 mascots ©Baku 2015Baku 2015 has unveiled Jeyran the gazelle and Nar the pomegranate as the official mascots for the inaugural European Games.

Inspired by Azerbaijani nature and heritage, Jeyran and Nar reflect both the country's proud history and promising future.

The pair will symbolise Baku 2015 around the world, featuring on branding to promote the Games. 

"We are extremely happy to introduce Jeyran and Nar to the world, and we hope that they will come to represent the excitement of the inaugural European Games," said Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sport and chief executive of Baku 2015. 

"As symbols of Baku 2015, they will inspire, excite and entertain a new generation of sports fans in Azerbaijan and will be visible around the city and the country in the coming months."

Jeyran the gazelle will become the cultural ambassador of Baku 2015 ©Baku 2015Jeyran the gazelle will become the cultural ambassador of Baku 2015 ©Baku 2015

The mascots had been due to be unveiled last night at a special event to mark 200 days until the start of the Games but was postponed until tomorrow following the suicide of a local 35-year-old man at Maiden Tower, where the ceremony was due to take place. 

Jeyran, the Azerbaijani word for gazelle, will become the cultural ambassador of the Games, offering visitors a glimpse into Azerbaijan's rich heritage.

From high up in the Caucasus mountains to the shores of the Caspian Sea, Jeyran is said to enjoy guiding visitors around Azerbaijan and showing them all that the country has to offer.

The gazelle, a protected species in Azerbaijan, is a symbol in the country of natural beauty, grace and purity.

Nar is described as a sun-loving, playful pomegranate who grew up outside of the city of Goychay.

Full of life and energy, Nar loves participating in new sports and will be getting involved in the action at the Games.

The pomegranate symbolises unity in Azerbaijani folklore, and features heavily in the colourful Baku 2015 branding already displayed extensively around the city.

"Our mascots are important symbols of the inaugural European Games and we are delighted to be welcoming them to the Baku 2015 family," said Simon Clegg, Baku 2015 chief operating officer.

"Jeyran will be an elegant cultural ambassador for the Games and for the rich heritage of Azerbaijan.

"Nar represents the energy, enthusiasm and fun of the Games and will be seen explaining and getting involved with the sports at our venues."

The pomegranate symbolises unity in Azerbaijani folklore ©Baku 2015The pomegranate symbolises unity in Azerbaijani folklore ©Baku 2015

Charlie Wijeratna, Baku 2015 commercial director, added: "We wanted to help bring the European Games to life in a playful and colourful way, and we hope that Jeyran and Nar will become popular across all of Azerbaijan as we look forward to hosting Europe's elite athletes here at Baku 2015.

"The mascots have started life as flat illustrations, but will soon be animated, and of course transformed in three dimensions to form a part of the merchandising of the European Games."

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