With one month to go, the ticket sales are open for the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest. At a press conference launch party in Hungary’s capital, the medals have also been unveiled and the motto of the event was shared – ‘Make History’.
The Organising Committee is already on track to achieve that as it seems nothing can stop them to deliver the FINA World Championships in a record-breaking time of four months.
“It’s like turning on to the last hundred metres in the 400m IM. Your body is aching, the lungs are burning but our hearts, souls and the preparations we had put into this swim would surely bring us to the finish as we are overcoming all difficulties.”
Those were the words of Sandor Wladar, Chair of the Budapest 2022 Organising Committee and President of the Hungarian Swimming Association as the Moscow 1980 Olympic champion kicked off the press conference in style in the Hungarian capital.
Even if looked like a mission impossible at first sight, he added, now it seems sure that Hungary delivers once again.
“If everything goes as smoothly as it has until today, these FINA World Championships will be the finest example of event legacy and sustainability,” Wladar said. “This event can only happen under these circumstances because of the investments made by the country and its government in 2017. What we built back then is the base for what we plan for this summer.
“The Duna Arena, the completely refurbished Alfred Hajos complex on the Margaret Island are still in perfect conditions to stage big spectacles there without further spending, we need to make only event-related upgrades,” Wladar added.
With just one month to go to the start of the FINA World Championships, the medals were unveiled together with the event’s motto: Make History.
“The logo which we shared during the 100-days-to-go celebrations is the core element of the medal” Budapest 2022 CEO David Szanto said. “It symbolises the waves, the water and one may see a water polo ball, too. The medals were manufactured in Germany by a specialised company, and I hope the athletes will love them.”
The event motto ‘Make History,’ is a perfect summation of the efforts of the athletes and organisers also to put in all the preparations necessary for an event in the magnitude of the FINA World Championships.
“Don’t forget that we are about to deliver this event in a record-breaking time of four months and if we succeed, we will make history – but that will credit all Hungarians across the country, not only the organisers as it is a joint effort by all of us,” the Budapest 2022 CEO emphasised.
The ticket sales also kicked off Wednesday morning. A total of 180,000 tickets will go on the market in three ‘waves’ in the coming weeks and the prices are quite reasonable. Even the best places for the swimming finals cost no more than 50 Euros. The open water, artistic swimming and diving competitions can be viewed for 5-10 Euros. Tickets for the water polo group games might be purchased for 15-25 Euros and 40-60 Euros for the finals.
Event organising best practices of tailoring a first-in-class athlete and fan experience to financial prudence were emphasised throughout the press conference. These key themes were carried out by the CEO of the National Sports Agency, Attila Mihok. Two of Hungary’s leading businessmen – who are members of the organising committee executive team, former finance minister Peter Oszko and CEO of Wizzair, Jozsef Varadi – echoed this sentiment by emphasising that the budget is well-tailored, and the event shall have a great stimulus to the capital and the country’s economics.
“Budapest’s blossoming tourist life suffered a lot in the previous years due to the pandemic, and the World Championships cannot come at a better moment,” Varadi said. “It’s going to be a huge kick for the hoteliers and other service providers and the city can also reposition itself in the global market while almost 40 percent of the state funds spent on this event will return to the treasury at the end, so the event is a real benefit for all.”
Fellow organising committee members included swimming Olympic champions Daniel Gyurta and Agnes Kovacs, water polo Olympic gold medallist and Hungarian Water Polo Federation President Attila Vari, head coach of the three-time Olympic winner men’s national team (and FINA Coaches Committee Vice-Chair) Denes Kemeny all highlighted the huge opportunity the Hungarian athletes will enjoy.
“Many current members of the team already had the career-defining experience in 2017 to race in front of the home crowds, but there are many upcoming youngsters who will walk out to the Arena and will hear the cheering of several thousand people” the 2001 FINA World Champion Kovacs said. “This can be a huge boost to them, and this is where hosting such a big event becomes invaluable support to the careers of talented athletes.”