An athletes’ commission, to be chaired by Hungarian Olympic swimming champion Agnes Kovacs, has been set up by the Hungarian Olympic Committee to advise and promote Budapest’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Kovacs, an Olympic record holding breastroke swimmer and 53-time Hungarian national champion told GamesBids.com that she hoped hosting the Games will help raise participation in sports that are not yet popular in Hungary
She said a Games in Budapest “…is a great opportunity to sports which are not too popular in Hungary, too improve them.”
“Obviously for the Olympic Games you have to have many sports and there’s a really good chance to improve all the kinds of Olympic sports.”
This will be key in the bid’s legacy plans as seven new sport venues need to be constructed, including a tennis stadium, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will look at the new venues’ sustainability and the possibility of expanding sport across the nation.
Budapest’s bid book claimed that a Games in Hungary would inspire new cities aiming to host the Games, showing that smaller cities can leverage the IOC’s Agenda 2020 reforms to compete where only larger and wealthier cities could do so in the past.
Other members of the 31-member commission include gymnasts Krisztian Berki and 95-year-old Agnes Keleti, as well as canoer Akos Vereckei and judoka Anta Kovacs.
Members of the commission, who have won about 25 per cent of Hungary’s 168 Olympic gold medals, will also focus on raising awareness of he Games among the youth, and promote sports as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The commission is also expected to ensure that the interests of competitors – the “athletes first” motto – are represented in the bid.
Budapest is competing for the Games along with Los Angeles, Paris and Rome. The IOC will select the host city in September 2017.