Budapest, one of the cities bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, was selected the European Capital of Sport for 2019, as announced by the European Capitals of Sport Association (ACES).
Budapest will be the host of the 2017 FINA World Championship, and won in the selection process ahead of prestigious rivals – Malaga Spain, Yerevan Armenia, and Valletta Malta.
Gian F. Lupatelli, the President and Founder of ACES Europe said “Budapest had been a very strong candidate and had showed enough potential to be European Capital of Sport”.
Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Deputy Mayor of Budapest said “the announcement supports Budapest’s bid for the 2024 Olympics, brings media and global attention to the capital and importantly, we will gain valuable experience throughout the year”. She added, “Budapest will mainly use existing venues and no infrastructure developments will be needed”.
Laszlo Fabian, Sports Director of the Hungarian Olympic Committee added, “Budapest has proved several times it is a perfect host of international sports competitions such as wrestling. Hosting the Fencing World Championships as well as Water Polo and the European Judo Championships will ensure the city is ready to become European Capital of Sport in 2019.
Corneal Marculescu, Executive Director of FINA (International Swimming Federation) visited Budapest in October, underlining “the speed of realizing developments necessary for the World Championships taking place in two years has exceeded all expectations and Budapest has demonstrated its proficiency”.
Marculescu added, “the Hungarians’ commitment to the Olympics and the Budapest 2024 Olympic bid is very much appreciated by FINA”.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be studying the Budapest bid along with bids from Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome before they elect the 2024 host in an all-members meeting to be held September 2017 in Lima, Peru.
Budapest is considered an outsider in the strongly contended race, yet Olympic host city elections often offer unexpected results.