Sport and the Olympic spirit will continue to play a vital role in recovering from the present crisis; we can see this happening now. Just as the Olympic Games in Munich were not paralyzed by the terror attack at the time, the coronavirus epidemic will not ruin international sport today, either - Krisztián Kulcsár, Olympic silver medallist fencer and chairman of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, told növekedés.hu. He stressed that sport is starting to get back to normal and said that according to the expectations, a Hungarian team of 150-160 athletes will participate at the Olympics, and they are expected to win at least 13 medals.
The year 2020 has not been easy for sport and for athletes. What is your assessment of this year?
This year did not turn out the way anyone had predicted. While also the world of sport was rocked by the situation, I would say that the spirit of sport and the Olympics has finally prevailed, as has been the case so many times in the past one hundred years or so. Life will get back to normal, so I’m optimistic about the future.
Sport and the Olympic spirit will continue to play a vital role in recovering from crisis situations; we can see that happening now.
Just as the Olympic Games in Munich were not paralyzed by the terror attack at the time, the pandemic will not ruin international sport today, either. We would like to believe that the Olympics in Tokyo next year will give the world hope and encouragement. So while 2020 will enter the sports yearbooks in inverted commas, we are trying to focus on the positive and recognize the power of sport.
In your opinion, was it the right decision that the IOC and Tokyo decided to postpone the Summer Olympics until next year?
I definitely think it was a good decision that the Olympics were postponed for a year rather than being cancelled altogether. Obviously
it was mostly up to the Japanese organizers, who are able to simply postpone an event of this scale in time.
I am absolutely certain that the Olympics will take place in Tokyo next year, and today the discussion is about what kind of health protection measures will be needed. There are different scenarios for this, however,
cancelling the Olympics in Tokyo next year is not a viable option.
At the previous Olympic Games in 2016, the Hungarian team did very well, finishing 12th in the medal table with 8 gold medals. What results do you think Hungarian competitors can achieve in Tokyo? How many of our athletes can participate in the games in total?
Participation in the Olympics is basically predictable; we just need to look at how Hungarian athletes perform in the World Championships in Olympic events in the three years before the Games. Last year we made our forecast and we have seen no reason to change that since then:
according to this forecast 150-160 Hungarian athletes will be travelling to Tokyo next year, and winning at least 13 medals seems like a realistic expectation.
In which team sports will Hungarian teams qualify for the Olympics?
There are still qualifying tournaments in many sports, but it is already certain that from among the traditional team sports
the men’s water polo team will be there in Tokyo and the women’s water polo and women’s handball teams are still in the competition to qualify for the Olympics.
The Hungarian Olympic Committee has recently launched a campaign called “We are the Magyarock”. What is the main goal and message of this campaign?
Magyarock is the brand of the Hungarian Olympic team. The campaign was launched on July 24, 2020, the exact day when the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics was going to take place and it aims to provide a community experience. It is about being part of the Hungarian Olympic team, and passing on this elevating feeling to everyone who identifies with the team, with their everyday challenges, joys, and failures as well as the successes that can give so much pleasure and pride. In order to promote the idea of Magyarock commercially, a range of Magyarock-themed merchandise - mainly clothing - will soon become available in retail stores.
What is the financial situation of the Hungarian Olympic Committee now; have there been any changes in the budget in recent years?
The budget of the Hungarian Olympic Committee is available on our website.
There has been no significant change in our revenues due to Covid-19. The Hungarian state provides almost 20 percent of our operating budget, and the remaining 80 percent is funded from domestic and international markets.