Simone Sabbioni winner at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing (China) of a gold medal in the 100 backstroke; a silver in the 4 x 100 freestyle; a bronze in the 50 backstroke, was honoured in Baku (Azerbaijan), during the 43rd General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), with the award for best young athlete of the year by the Chairman of the EOC Patrick Hickey. The Italian seventeen year old, who was standard-bearer for the Italian team in the closing ceremony in China, was voted with a majority by the General Assembly. The award, now in its fourth year, is dedicated to the memory of the President of the Polish Olympic Committee Piotr Nurowski who died tragically in a plane crash in 2010.
During the ceremony, which was attended by CONI President Giovanni Malagò, with the Secretary General Roberto Fabbricini and the Deputy Carlo Mornati, the President of the EOC Hickey honoured the IOC President Thomas Bach from the EOC Order of Merit Award, the highest honour of the European Olympic Committees.
Baku was chosen as the location of the EOC Assembly a few months before the first edition of the European Games which will be held from 12 to 28 June 2015 in the Azerbaijani capital.