Budapest 2024 Olympic Bid Unchanged Amid Hungarian Sport Reform

budapestlogowideOn Tuesday, Hungary approved a reform of its sports laws that will see the Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC), according to an AFP report, stripped of many powers and rules beginning January 1, 2017.

The HOC had been in charge of budget planning and allocation for all competing sports branches, and was also responsible for appointing the heads and senior figures of Olympic sports federations.  But under the new changes, reportedly approved by a large majority of lawmakers, all these major changes will now fall to a government department.

But according to the Budapest 2024, the Olympic and Paralympic Games bid will be not be impacted.

“The role of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC) remains unchanged as the pillar for national and international sport in Hungary,” Budapest 2024 said in a statement obtained by GamesBids.com.

“The recently announced sport reform changes will enable the HOC to focus on its traditional areas of expertise and responsibility. These are: to act as representatives of the Olympic Movement in Hungary including training and preparation for Olympic competition; to manage international Olympic relations; and to develop Olympic sports.

“These are areas of expertise that are shared with NOCs across the world and will continue to be safeguarded by the Hungarian Olympic Committee. The governance of the HOC remains unchanged and the HOC will maintain its important liaison with and accountability to the International Olympic Committee – as it always has done as a founding member of the modern Olympic Movement.”

Previously the HOC had been given responsibilities that went beyond the typical roles of a National Olympic Committee such as sports education and retention of physical education in the national curriculum – but now it has been deemed reasonable for these to be administered by the government. The separation of administrative and governmental tasks from Olympic duties is the case in the sporting systems of many other countries.

“The preparation of athletes leading up to significant tournaments such as European Championships remains the responsibility of the National Sports Federations,” the statement clarified.

Budapest 2024 Heroes’ Square Stadium to host Cycling and Athletics events (Budapest 2024 Depiction)

Budapest 2024 Heroes’ Square Stadium to host Cycling and Athletics events (Budapest 2024 Depiction)

The Olympic bid will remain an entity of the HOC, a requirement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Balázs Fürjes, Chairman of Budapest 2024 said “the Budapest Bid looks forward to continuing good relationships with our friends at the HOC, the government and the City of Budapest. We are united in the quest to secure the honour of hosting the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

“The vision of an Olympic Games in Budapest in 2024 is a source of great national pride.”

Budapest is competing with Los Angeles and Paris to host the 2024 Games and the winning city will be elected by the IOC September 13 in Lima, Peru.