Ilham Aliyev

Ilham Aliyev has been the President of Azerbaijan since 2003 and has made sport a central theme in the country.

He has also served as President of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee since 1997 and believes that sport is a crucial tool to build a country's brand while increasing its reputation on the international stage.

Azerbaijan and Baku in particular has become a regular host of sporting competitions under Aliyev's leadership, with numerous World and European Championships staged there.

Staging the European Games in 2015 and the Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017 were big tests, and the country showed it was up to the challenge of hosting these massive multi-sport competitions.

Aliyev has often been seen at these major events where he has watched the action and presented prizes to athletes.

He can speak Azerbaijani, Russian, English, French and Turkish.

In 2004 Aliyev was awarded the Olympic Order, and he has also been honoured by the International Paralympic Committee, World Taekwondo, United World Wrestling and the World Karate Federation.

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Mehriban Aliyeva

Mehriban Aliyeva is the first lady of Azerbaijan and has been heavily involved in the country's sporting ambitions.

She has served as President of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation since 2004, overseeing rapid growth of the sport in the country.

In 2004, Aliyeva was elected as a member of the Executive Board of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee.

She was handed a huge role in 2012 when she was named as chair of the Organising Committee for the first edition of the European Games, held in Baku in 2015.

Her success in this role saw her awarded the European Olympic Committees' Order of Merit in 2016 for her special services to the development of sport on the continent.

Two years earlier, she was awarded the "Olympic Excellence" Special Honorary Prize of the International Olympic Academy for promotion of Olympic values.

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Farid Gayibov

Farid Gayibov is the Sports Minister of Azerbaijan.

He has a background in gymnastics and worked for two years as sports and logistics manager at the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) from 2003.

From 2005 to 2006, he worked as AGF general manager.

During his time with the AGF he was involved with events including the 2005 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku.

In 2006, he was elected as AGF secretary general and he became an International Gymnastics Federation Council member in 2012.

Gayibov is now the President of European Gymnastics, having been elected in 2017.

He is also a vice-president of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee

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Azer Aliyev

Azer Aliyev is the secretary general of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee.

He previously worked as deputy secretary general of the NOC, and also as vice-president of the Azerbaijan Weightlifting Federation.

An acclaimed powerlifter, Aliyev has won medals at the World and European Championships.

He is a master of sports in Azerbaijan.