Like the history, the development of physical training and sports in Azerbaijan starts from ancient times. Gymnastics, swimming, athletics, weight-lifting, football started to develop in the country from the beginning of the last century. Establishment of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and its acknowledgement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has started a new period in the Olympic Movement of our country. The activities of the sport federations in Azerbaijan enabled the development of professional sportsmen in the country, the participation in international competitions and the success of our sportsmen in such international competitions. Azeri sportsmen achieved high results in 28th Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia (15.09.2000). Z. Meftahaddinova (trapshooting) and N. Abdullayev (free style wrestling) were awarded gold medals and V. Alakparov (boxing) won a silver medal. Among 199 countries participating in Sydney Olympic Games, Azerbaijan won 34th place and was 23rd among the European countries, which can be considered as a great victory of our sportsmen.
38 out of 130 sportsmen that started to prepare for the 28th Summer Olympic Games were honoured to participate in the Games. 36 of them were licensed to participate in the Games, while two of them received special permit of the International Swimming Federation (wild-card) for the Games. Our Republic was represented in the 28th Summer Games by 38 sportsmen on 12 sports. As compared to the 27th Sydney Olympics our Republic added three new sports, namely rhythmic gymnastics, taekwondo and fencing in its list and also was presented by greater number of competitors. In the 28th Olympics Games in Athens the Azerbaijan National Olympic Team won 1 gold and 4 bronze medals gaining 37th place among 202 participating countries in amount of medals and 50th place in quality. The golden medal of F. Mansurov (Greco-Roman wrestling), bronze medals of I. Ashumova (shooting), Z. Meftahatddinova (trapshooting), A, Mammadov and F. Aslanov (boxing) considerably contributed to these achievements. 140 Azeri sportsmen participating in the Summer Olympic Games during 1952-2004 won 15 gold, 12 silver, 13 bronze medals. Azeri sportsmen won 7 medals in the 29th Summer Olympic Games in Beijing (2008). Azerbaijan judoka Elnur Mannadov won gold medal and Greco-Roman wrestlers Rovhsan Bayramov and Vitaliy Rahimov added silver medals to our country’s prizes. Judoka Movlud Miraliyev, Ukrainian legionary of women’s wrestling team Mariya Stadnik, free-style wrestler Khetag Gazyumov and captain of the boxing team Shahin Imranov won bronze medals.
In the 30th London Summer Olympics in 2012 Azerbaijan team was presented by 53 sportsmen in 16 sports. In this Olympics our sportsmen won 10 medals - 2 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze. Our free wrestlers Togrul Askerov, Sharif Sharifov won the title of Olympic champion and Khetag Gazyumov was awarded a bronze medal. Rovshan Bayramov was the second in Greco-Roman wrestling, while Emin Ahmadov received a bronze medal. Among women wrestlers Mariya Stadnik was the silver medallist and Yuliya Ratkevich was third. Our boxers Teymur Mammadov and Mahammadrasul Majidov were awarded bronze medals. Also Azerbaijan weight lifter Valentin Khristov received a bronze medal.
Organisation of international sport competitions has become a tradition in Azerbaijan. In addition to the representation by our sportsmen in international sport events, our country has become a place where these high level international events are organised. In May 2012 the biking tour dedicated to the memory of the national leader Heydar Aliyev who considerably contributed to the development of the sports in Azerbaijan, was held. This U23 category international competition consisting of five stages was included in the calendar plan of the International Cyclist Union (ICU). This International Biking Tour among the youth was an important event in the sports history of our country, as well as significantly assisted the further development and promotion of cycling in Azerbaijan, increase of interest to this sport among population, especially young people. "Atasport" and "Sumgayit" teams were representing Azerbaijan in this competition.
In September-October 2012 Azerbaijan hosted one more magnificent sport event, i.e. the final stage of the world football championship FIFA U-17 among the women below 17 years of age. Football players below 17 from 16 countries participated in this competition. This was the first FIFA event in Azerbaijan and the first U-17 women’s world championship in Eurasia. The participants of the championship were Japan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China, Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Columbia, New Zealand, France, Germany and the host country - Azerbaijan. This competition held in 2012 increased the interest to this sport event as well as enriched the experience of Azerbaijan in hosting the prestigious international sport competitions.