350 thousand spectators, about 100 thousand of whom are foreigners, are believed to come to the FINA World Aquatics Championships between 14th and 30th July, 2017. The biggest sports event in Hungary for all time will have a considerable effect on tourism as well. Furthermore, it will let tourists and guests arriving get themselves acquainted with possibly the most valuable natural resource: thermal and medicinal waters.
Here are 8+1 interesting facts about the “country of waters” and the 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships.
- Thermal and medicinal waters can be found under 80% of Hungary’s territory . Hungary, on a world scale, is the 5th country regarding thermal water resources after Japan, Iceland, Italy and France.
- The main scene of the 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships, the Danube Arena was built in the spirit of sustainability, the first Hungarian complex which will be reduced after the world contest – its capacity of 15 thousand will be reduced to 6 thousand.
- In addition to the largest fresh-water lake in Europe, Lake Balaton, the largest natural thermal lake of the world, Lake Hévíz is also located in Hungary. Water lily is both the characteristic feature of the lake and the symbol of the town of Hévíz. The mascots of the world championships, Lili and Lali are also water lilies known throughout the world, but significantly typical of Hungary.
- The pool built for synchronized swimmers on the lake of the City Park will be the first mobile pool in the history of the FINA World Aquatics Championships, which will host the competitors in a natural environment instead of a stadium or arena.
- Budapest owns the title spa since 1934, as this city has the most thermal and medicinal water wells among the capitals of the world. About 100 thermal and mineral water sources, and more than 400 bitter water sources can be found in the city. Their temperature is between 24 and 78 °C.
- Although the 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships have not even started yet, they will hold a number of records: this will be the world championship organized in the shortest time, since originally Mexico won the right to host the world championship in 2017, but they withdrew from the opportunity in February, 2015. There will be more nations competing in the world championship in Hungary than ever before in the history of the world aquatics championships: athletes from 208 countries are believed to come to Budapest and Balatonfüred.
- Budapest recently provides 15 spas for people who want to heal themselves or simply relax. The most famous among them are the Széchenyi, the Rudas, the Gellért, the Király and the Lukács Thermal Baths. Last year was a record year for the thermal baths of the capital: more than four million guests visited the spas and beaches run by the Budapest Healing Baths and Hot Springs Co. Ltd.
- The Széchenyi Thermal Bath – by its nickname “Szecska” – is the largest bath complex of both Budapest and Europe. The complex has three outdoor and fifteen indoor pools, several medical treatments are available in the institution, where also a day care hospital is running. The hottest spring of the thermal baths of Budapest is the II. spring of the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, which is 1257 meter deep (77 °C).
+1. Hungary can be proud of the best female swimmer. Katinka Hosszú, who was chosen to be the best female swimmer of the world in succession (2014, 2015, 2016).
translated by Kinga Fegyó