The University of Debrecen, Hungary’s top university in the nation’s second largest city, has declared its support for the Budapest 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid. Zoltán Bács, University Chancellor, and Balázs Fürjes, Chairman of the Budapest 2024 bid committee, jointly signed a declaration following a lecture on the Olympic Games given to students, and a Q&A session on Budapest’s candidacy.
The event was attended by the Deputy Mayor of Debrecen, Lajos Barcsa, along with Olympians, regional council members and academics.
The declaration refers to “positive effects for Debrecen, Budapest, Hungary, and the wider region in the event of a successful application by Budapest 2024”. It also notes that the city of Debrecen would be able to strengthen its reputation and breadth of offering as a sporting host city, if the Games come to Hungary.
Debrecen has produced a long list of Olympic greats including Olga Gyarmati, Pál Kovács, Márta Antal-Rudas and Lajos Papp. The city features in the Budapest 2024 master plan as one of six Olympic cities, in addition to the host city Budapest, and would host football and volleyball preliminaries should Budapest win the right to host the Games in 2024.
Bid Chairman Fürjes said, “our Games concept ensures that 90 per cent of the population of sports-mad Hungary will be within 90 minutes or less of Olympic competition.”
“Bringing the Games to Hungary would be a fantastically uplifting experience for Hungarians, and 2024 would be the first time in a long time that the Olympic and Paralympic Games would truly be accessible to an entire nation.”
The Budapest 2024 Games concept is reportedly closely aligned with the existing Budapest Sustainable Development plan which the bid city says is so close that it is hard to separate the two, with the master plan making use of planned city development. According to Budapest 2024 a key benefit to the country, and cities like Debrecen, would be the acceleration of those development plans.
The University of Debrecen, along with the Corvinus University, the Central European University and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, is considered to be one of the country’s top educational institutes.
András Krisztina is an economist and Associate Professor at the Corvinus University and Vice President of a group of athletes, academics and public figures known collectively as “Guardians of the Bid.” The group supports and advises Budapest 2024.
“In December 2014, the IOC adopted the Agenda 2020 reform programme, which supports and encourages smaller, more economical Games, like the ones proposed by Budapest 2024,” Krisztina said.
“Many of the benefits of hosting an Olympic Games are not quantifiable. One of the main focuses of Agenda 2020 is to allow bids to make a stronger case for developments that are already underway and will be realized irrespective of whether or not that city hosts the Olympics.”
Budapest is bidding for the 2024 Games with Los Angeles and Paris. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is to select the host city September 13, 2017 in Lima, Peru.