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“Digitalization of sport and artificial intelligence will give us the opportunity for new innovations at the 2027 European Games”

May 21, 2024

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Turkish Olympic Committee to host the fourth edition of Europe’s premier multi-sport event – 2027 European Games. iSportConnect’s Taruka Srivastav spoke with the EOC President Spyros Capralos who highlighted the benefits of hosting the games, including increased commercial opportunities and tourism growth.

Tell us more about the European Games 2027.

This is going to be the fourth edition of the European games and we have been progressing steadily. We had a big success in Poland across all sectors including financial which was mentioned by the Deloitte Report. The games were quite cost effective and I think now the Eastern Europe will gives us an additional new opportunity for innovation. The games are happening one year before the Olympic Games in Los Angeles so they will serve as a qualification for many Olympic sports. We’re trying to bring the best athletes of Europe and I think that we are succeeding more and more in that respect. And having qualification for Olympic Games is something that’s really important as due to this incentive, the athletes will participate in the European Games in large numbers.

Furthermore, with our Turkish friends we’ll be discussing and negotiating and cooperating to see what are the sports that interest the local communities and also in general, for the promotion of sport.

You have led the Greek Olympics in 2004. What are the kinds of opportunities expected to be created for the local business from commercial point of view in Istanbul?

We have seen since the games in Athens in 2004, Greece had an increase in many areas of its activities like tourism, like commercial opportunities, new investments from abroad, and lots of new visitors coming. The infrastructure that was built for the games helped in this respect. We are sure that the same will happen for Istanbul. Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city uniting two different continents. It’s a city with a proven track record in organizing sports events. It’s a major attraction for tourists to visit that city and I think that the European Games will bring more international flavor to the city. The whole world will realize how modern Istanbul can be, even though it has a huge culture and history from the past. We also should not forget that Istanbul has been trying to host the Olympic Games and organizing a big multi-sport event like the European Games will help the city in that direction.

What sort of innovations are you looking to explore from AI perspective?

The digitalization of sport and artificial intelligence will give us the opportunity for new innovations to try at the European Games. AI is something that is new in our world, and there have been many developments in sports, and also developments in other in other areas. Next month we have our general assembly, and we have a special section regarding AI in sports happening in those two days in Bucharest, where we’re going to start discussing about the innovations that AI can bring to sport. I think that going forward, in the next three years there are going to be lots of developments in AI and we’ll be on top of that.

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