BP Azerbaijan is proud to be a partner of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Paralympic Committee (NPC) for the Rio 2016 Games, enabling athletes and para-athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.
BP began its association with Olympic and Paralympic sport when it became a partner of the London 2012 Games. It is currently one of two global partners of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as well as a partner of ten National Paralympic Committees and a sponsor of 26 Paralympic athletes. BP prioritizes Paralympic sport, although there are a number of legacy Olympic relationships that will remain until at least 2016, including five National Olympic Committee partnerships and sponsorship of seven Olympic athletes. BP supports six Azerbaijani athletes as 5 of them are licensed to compete at the Rio 2016 Games, whom it has selected as its ambassadors for the Games. They are Ilham Zakiyev (Paralympic Judo), Oleg Panyutin (Paralympic Athletics), Haji Aliyev (Olympic Wrestling), Olokhan Musayev (Paralympic Athletics) and Farida Azizova (Olympic Taekwondo).
The only female BP Ambassador, Farida Azizova was born in Qusar, Azerbaijan on June 6, 1995. She started practicing taekwondo when she was seven. Her career progressed very quickly and by the time she was 12 she had won a bronze medal at the World Youth Championships in Turkey in 2008. The following year she won a gold medal in the European Youth Championship and a bronze medal in the European Junior championship. Moving up to senior competitions in 2011 and 2012, Farida has won two gold medals in international tournaments. She was qualified for the London Games in June 2011 after winning second place in the Taekwondo Olympic preparation games in Baku. At just 17 years she was one of the country’s youngest Olympians ever and the first woman to represent Azerbaijan at an international Olympic taekwondo competition. Farida got bronze medals in 2013 World Championship in Puebla and 2014 European Championship in Baku Baku 2015 Games brought her silver medal.
Elkhan Mammadov, the only Judo World Champion from Azerbaijan and a BP Ambassador was born in Baku, Azerbaijan on February 26, 1982. He won the gold medal in 2013, at the World Championships held in Rio de Janeiro, defeating Henk Grol, from Netherlands, during the −100 kg final category. The other gold medal was won during IJF World Master held in Baku in 2011. Elkhan is the owner of one silver and three bronze medals won during the World and Europeans Championships in 2008-2010. He was happy to learn about athletes’ partnership with BP. This made him feel valued and approach this challenge even more responsibly.
Haji Aliyev, double gold medalist in World Championships and a BP Ambassador, was born in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan on 21 April 1991. He is a freestyle wrestler. He also competed in the 61kg division in the 2014 European Wrestling Championships and won the gold medal after beating Russian wrestler. Haji secured other gold medals in the freestyle 61 kg class in the 2014 and 2015 World Wrestling Championships. He got bronze medals in 2016 European Championship, 2015 Baku European Games and 2015 Las Vegas World Cup. He is on top of the World Freestyle Wrestlers ranking list. Haji thinks BP does a great job by valuing athletes’ efforts and hard work and supporting them.
Ilham Zakiyev, multimedalist, the face of paralympic movement of Azerbaijan and a BP Ambassador was born in Sumgait, Azerbaijan, on 3 March 1980. When he was 18 he joined the Army to fight against the enemies and was wounded in his head by the Armenian sniper during a combat mission on February 1999. As a result he has completely lost his eyesight. After a long rehabilitation, he could return to the sport but as a Paralympic. He is the holder of a 6-dan black belt. He won the gold medals during the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Paralympics Games in the +100 kg category. He is 6 time European champion and 2 time world champion. In 2008, he received Shohrat (Honour) Order for his great contribution to the development of the Azerbaijani sport. He represented BP as its athlete ambassador during the London 2012 Games and returned to Azerbaijan with a bronze medal. Ilham won gold medal during Baku 2015 Games.
Olokhan Musayev, winner of several gold medals and a BP Ambassador, was born in Balakan, Azerbaijan on May 30, 1979. He started his sports career as a weightlifter but quitted it in 2007 when he injured his left arm. He then moved into shot putting. He had immediate success winning the world tournament in Thailand but later that year he suffered another trauma to his arm. Despite this he took part in the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008 where he set a new world record and won a gold medal. Since then Olokhan has won the first place in 2009 and 2011 World Championships. He won Gold medal in 2014 Swansea IPC Athletics European Championship. He believes that a successful sportsman should always rely on the support of the family, friends, close ones. Olokhan has been cooperating with BP since 2011, when he was BP Ambassador too, and treats BP as part of his family. He thinks BP attaches a great importance to every athlete
Oleg Panyutin, multiple gold medalist and a BP Ambassador was born in Baku on May 10, 1983. He set a new world record in the long jump at the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004, and won a gold medal. In 2005 he won gold medals at both the European and Open European championships. Despite a serious injury Oleg achieved success at national and international level. 2008 saw Oleg competing in his second Paralympics where he was still suffering from the injury. The injury meant he was unable to achieve his full potential but he still managed to win Bronze. In 2009 he won Gold in the Long Jump and Silver in the Triple Jump. He demonstrated the same results at the Italian Open Championship. Oleg secured gold medals in 2011 IPC World Championship, and 2005, 2012 amd 2014 IPC European Championship. While BP Ambassador in London 2012 Oleg won Gold medal in the Long Jump.
Oleg thinks that BP’s support serves a good example to other companies to join the sponsorship of sports in Azerbaijan and over the world. Since 2012 London 2012 Games when BP began its association with Olympic and Paralympic Sport it has supported a number of high profile sporting events including Baku 2015 Games, Elite Athlete Development Program.