The Olympic Day is celebrated on the 23rd of June all around the world. Its aim is to get people moving and take part in sporting activities. Nowadays, Olympic Day is developing into much more than just a sports event. Based on the three pillars “move”, “learn” and “discover”, National Olympic Committees are organising sports, cultural and educational activities. To commemorate the day, we collected information about Hungary’s all time participation and results at Olympic Games.
Nemzetismeret.hu writes that the fighting efficiency, physical power and cleverness of Hungarians were shown in military derring-do in former times, while it is mostly shown in the field of sports since the 20th century. As the Nobel Prize in sciences, the medals and placing achieved on Olympic Games represent the successfulness of a nation in different sports.
Hungary first participated on the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 and almost had competitors at all Summer and Winter Olympics, except for 1920 when we weren’t invited as the losers of WWI (which actually would’ve been the Budapest Olympic Games if we hadn’t lost the war), and 1984 when we joined the boycott of socialist countries under the pressure of the Soviet Union.
By favour of Dr Ferenc Kemény, Hungary took part in the foundation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894 and as an effect of this; the Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC) was formed one and a half years later, on the 19th of December, 1895.
HOC officially accepts the results achieved by Hungarians at artistic competitions, with which Hungary takes pride in having achieved all together 486 medals (168 gold, 148 silver and 170 bronze) at Olympic Games. However, this doesn’t correspond with IOC’s point of view as they don’t count medals achieved in mental competitions. This is why the number of Hungarian medals accepted by IOC differs from the number accepted by HOC. According to IOC, Hungary has won 482 medals (167 gold, 146 silver and 169 bronze).
Given Hungary’s capabilities we’ve always been better at Summer Olympic Games, where we are the first in medals compared to the rate of the population. Also, with our 480 medals won at Summer Olympic Games, Hungary is the most successful nation never to have organised Olympic Games.
Hungarian sportsmen were the most successful at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki with 42 medals, out of which 16 were gold, 10 were silver and 16 were bronze. When it comes to efficiency by sports, the top 5 sports we have been the most successful in are fencing (83 medals), swimming (66 medals), kayak-canoe (77 medals), wrestling (53 medals) and gymnastics (40 medals).
The top 5 most successful Hungarian sportsmen include heroic names like fencer Aladár Gerevich (10 medals: 7 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze), fencer Pál Kovács (7 medals: 6 gold, 1 bronze), fencer Rudolf Kárpáti (6 medals, all gold), gymnast Ágnes Keleti (10 medals: 5 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) and swimmer Krisztina Egerszegi (7 medals: 5 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze).
Under the half century of Soviet occupation, sport was nearly the only way to express ones national consciousness through. In this time, all Hungarian victories were celebrated as heroic actions. The Golden Team became legendary, just like our unbeatable fencers, water polo players, kayak-canoers and pentathlonists. It was a big pride for the nation that we were among the top countries more than once, among countries of hundreds of millions habitants or countries with great sport traditions.
And finally, if we look at the aggregated medal table of Summer Olympic Games between 1896 and 2012 (in the order of the top 10 countries’ number of gold medals), we see that our small country of Hungary is in the amazing 8th place, behind countries like the USA, Russia, Germany, U.K., France, China and Italy.
We wish the best of luck to our sportsmen in Rio!!!
Photos: www.sportmuzeum.hu, www.fortepan.hu, www.facebook.com/Budapest2024
Copy editor: bm
Source: Daily News Hungary