On Tuesday the City of Budapest in conjunction with the Budapest 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid launched the Budapest Urban Games, a festival of four sports that will be contested on October 1. The Urban Games are aimed primarily at young people, although anyone can enter, and the date was specifically chosen to ensure students and schoolchildren could take part.
Cycling events will take place from the Freedom Statue, Budapest’s symbol of independence and one of the elements of the Budapest 2024 logo. Table tennis and football four-a-side will be held at the iconic 19th century Klauzál Square Market.
Events will also include Table tennis matches that will help serve as a warm up for to the ITTF European Table Tennis Championships taking part in Budapest in October. Organizers hope to include skateboarding at next year’s event.
Bid Chairman Balázs Fürjes said Tuesday “It’s true that the Budapest Urban Games has been inspired by our bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. But we prefer to think of this event as one of many initiatives that will be a legacy of our bid, whatever the outcome of the vote, rather than being linked to any milestone in particular.”
“With one year left to go, there is a still a huge amount of work and a lot to look forward to. For example, we host the ‘big three’ in July and August next year (the European Youth Olympic Festival, World Judo Championships and Aquatics World Championships).”
Budapest 2024 is also preparing for the visits of International Federations in order to work on details and gain venue approval from the various sports bodies.
“Our teams are keen to work on site with the federations, so that we can really start to hone in on the details and create the best possible environments for athletes,” Fürjes said.
“People ask me what our biggest challenge is, and the answer is simple: explaining the magic of Budapest to someone who has never been there.
“Our natural strength resides in a compact plan that fits Agenda 2020 closely, and our single Olympic park concept is quite unique. Sound partnerships, such as the one we enjoy with the City of Budapest, are the backbone of the Budapest Bid.”
Based on media perception, Budapest is considered an underdog outmatched by Los Angeles and Paris in this race; but Fürjes vehemently denies that this is true. He said last month that International Olympic Committee (IOC) members know Budapest, they know the history and what Hungary can deliver.
That being the case, over the next year on the road to Lima Budapest bid officials will have to work hard to deliver their messages and change perceptions – if those perceptions are incorrect. As international campaigning begins next year, it will be a great opportunity for Budapest to introduce itself to the world.
Along with Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris – Rome is in the race to host the Olympic Games in 2024. The IOC will elect the host city September 13 next year.