At the closing day of the FINA Convention in Windsor, Canada Budapest was in the spotlight. First at forenoon at the presentation by the World Championships’ hosts, later the representatives of the National Federations had the opportunity to get to know at the important details about the next year event.
Cornel Marculescu, Executive Director of the FINA stated that ‘there are many incredible things happening in Budapest. The government, Viktor Orbán Prime Minister gave an extraordinary support towards sport and aquatics and they undertook an impossible mission when it was needed. Our organisation faced terrible problems after Mexico had withdrawn its application the Hungarian Swimming Association took the responsibility to host the 2017 FINA World Championship. They did promise us that the Dagály Sports Centre will be ready till the time comes. Well, the building is almost ready and will be soon filled up with water, which is hard to believe but it’s the true. We think that the World Championship will be a fantastic one with venues we have never seen in the history of the FINA World Championships. We would like to thank the Hungarian Government and Tamás Gyárfás, the Vice-President of FINA for creating the opportunity and we are hoping from the bottom of our hearts that the next years’ World Championship will be the best and most viewed one.
Tamás Gyárfás, the Co-Chair of the Organising Committee stated that "we are fundamentally grateful for the Mexican for their withdrawal, we can open the new swimming complex which wouldn’t have been ready till 2021. For me personally, I hope that President Marcolescou will not hear this now, the whole World Championship is about the new swimming pool. This is the most important because its existence will give us opportunity to let the new generations meet with the aquatics, train the next generations and help them to reach their potential, which makes us, Hungarians richer. I am sure that swimming pool like the Dagály Swimming Complex wouldn’t have been built without the purpose to be a venue for the World Championship, these two come hand in hand. Also, this event could give a huge push to the 2024 Olympic application too."
Dr. Balázs Fürjes Government Commissioner who is responsible for the Dagály Complex’s building and the conductor of the 2024 Olympic application, said that the 2017 World Championship will be the perfect event in the perfect city at the perfect time, referring to that one of the most prestigious sport event will be hosted in Budapest, a city with light speed development. He added that Budapest is the seventh on the SportCal, a sport site on the ranking list because of the last years’ development, investment and support towards sports.
He commented also on the change in the date of the World Championship in Budapest. "Two years ago, we did not have a new swimming pool, a plan and a notion. Then everything changed and we had to go with it." The audience could watch in a marvellous time-lapse video the birth of the Dagály Complex, the 130m long, 90m wide and 45m tall building with its 30,000m2, which gave more than 5000 people employment.
Balázs Fürjes also mentioned the 2024 Olympic application and the future plans to change Budapest into one grand venue. "Two great and rich city are our rivals at the application but the question is: are the big and wealthy cities able to win to host or there is any chance for middle sized metropolises? We think that Budapest is true alternative option which offers something else, something exciting and something new than the others."
Éva Szántó, the Executive Director of the company responsible for organizing the FINA World Championship in Budapest gave a brief summary of the five venues, the Dagály Swimming Complex, the Alfréd Hajós Swimming Pool at the Margaret island, the temporary swimming pool at the Heroes Square on the City Park Ice Rink, the High Diving temporary pool along the River Danube and Balatonfüred, the home of the open water races. The introduction video about the venues and the city itself was welcome by grandiose applause by the participants. Éva Szántó continued "the event promises a grand heritage for the country and had already give many pushes to the city: the sport infrastructure enriched excessively, the youngsters got inspiration and more possibility to do sports and we, the hosts have got enormous experience regarding the event organising which we hope to use in the near future at other different possibilities for example at the Olympic Games in 2024."