FINA Communication Department

Budapest, Hungary, will play the host to the second FINA World Aquatics Gala - "Soirée des Etoiles", bringing together the movers and shakers of the sports industry to pay tribute to the aquatic greats.

Around 300 attendees will take part in the ceremony, while 50 media (TV, web and written press) have confirmed their presence. The evening will be broadcast on national TV, MTVA, as well as live streamed (further information regarding the live stream will be comunicated).

Amongst the guests, ANOC, OCA and Olympic Solidarity President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, Mayor of Budapest and Head of the FINA World Championships 2017 Organising Committee Istvan Tarlos, Mayor of Windsor Drew Dilkens, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport Development and Peace (UNOSDP) Wilfried Lemke, and influent Olympic writer Alan Abrahamson (last year’s winner of the FINA World Journalist Award) will be present among others, providing their support to the FINA Family and the whole Aquatic Community.

FINA annually organises this important evening to recognise the continuous efforts and achievements of the aquatic stars across FINA’s six disciplines. 

Recognitions will be awarded to best athletes of 2015 (men and women) in each discipline; swimming, water polo, diving, synchronised swimming, open water and high diving.

FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione said: "FINA is proud to organise an excellent range of world-class competitions for the six disciplines it represents but also to pay extra attention to the athletes’ needs and ensure they can fulfil their set goals. It is of utmost importance that we dedicate a special evening for the stars because they deserve to receive our deep appreciation for the way they promote our sport.”

The FINA World Aquatics Gala - "Soirée des Etoiles" will be held on Sunday January 31, in the iconic Vigadó Concert Hall overlooking the Danube river.

Vigadó, Budapest, Hungary ©Troy David Johnston

The city of Budapest will be hosting the next FINA World Championships and FINA World Masters Championships in July-August 2017.

The "Soirée des Etoiles" was first held in Doha, Qatar, in December 2014, with the occasion of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and the FINA World Aquatics Convention.

Last year’s winners (2014) included Olympic Champions and 2014 FINA Swimming World Cup winner Chad Le Clos (RSA) and Katinka Hosszu, Swimming World Cup winner since 2012 (she won the last four editions).

Among the divers, Cao Yuan and Liu Huixia of China were the winners, while 2014 High Diving World Cup winner Orlando Duque (COL) and USA’s Rachelle Simpson, current World Champion, won the award in high diving.

In the open water operations, two Brazilians were the best of 2014: Alan do Carmo and Ana Marcela Cunha.

Maggie Steffens was the best player of the USA team who won the 2014 Water Polo World League. Steffens was the captain of her team in 2015 too and was granted MVP in London 2012. Filip Filipovic won the distinction in the men’s field.

2014 Best Athletes of the Year in Doha (QAT) ©Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia