Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva were in attendance as the curtain came up on the 2019 Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) at the Opening Ceremony in Baku.
The President and First Lady were the special guests at the ceremony and joined other dignitaries including European Olympic Committees head Janez Kocijančič for the spectacle at a sold-out Crystal Hall in Azerbaijan's capital.
The ceremony marked the formal opening of the EYOF, the leading European multi-sport event for young athletes aged 14 to 18.
Kocijančič had earlier met with Aliyev to discuss sport in Azerbaijan and preparations for the EYOF.
Azerbaijan Sports Minister Azad Rahimov promised the city, which hosted the inaugural European Games in 2015, was "fully ready for the competition" at a press conference before the Opening Ceremony.
"This competition is very important for both Azerbaijan and Europe," he said.
"It will be a great experience for our athletes and a great challenge."
Azerbaijan claimed two gold medals in wrestling, making its debut on the Summer EYOF Programme, on the opening day of sporting action.
Farid Sadigli had the honour of winning the first gold of the event as he beat Turkey's Umut Coban in the 45 kilograms Greco-Roman division.
Murad Hagverdiyev clinched the 45kg freestyle title by overcoming Georgian rival Nikolozi Santeladze 11-4 in a one-sided gold medal bout, while Azerbaijan's Abulfaz Nasirov was forced to settle for silver in the 55kg freestyle category as he lost 10-5 to Italian Simone Vincenzo Piroddu in the final.
Belarusian Hleb Makaranka topped the 55kg Greco-Roman division with victory over Romeo Beridze of Georgia.
Nihad Mammadli claimed bronze for Azerbaijan in the same weight class following his victory over Ates Bekir of Turkey.
The seven days of competition will feature 10 sports at 12 venues.
Around 3,600 athletes and team officials from all 50 European National Olympic Committees are expected to take part.