Hungary’s achievements in the history of the Olympics serve as the basis for its bid to host the 2024 Games, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
In Rio, Hungary has once again beaten countries bigger and more prosperous than itself, Orban told MTI after witnessing Hungary’s victory in the women’s 500 meters kayak four, the country’s eighth gold medal at the 2016 Games.
“The total Hungarian population makes up 0.2 percent of the world population. And yet we beat the world eight times. That is eight times that we were the best out of seven billion people on Earth,” the prime minister said.
He noted that more countries won medals this year than at the London Games four years ago while the number of events were the same. Hungary’s athletes therefore had to seriously raise their game just to ensure that the country keeps its position, he said. In Rio, Hungary is so far ranked 12th in the gold medal count and 16th on the overall table.
If Hungary were not among the world’s ten most successful countries in the Olympics, with its size and economic strength, it would not have a serious argument to be chosen as the host country for 2024, the prime minister said. Hungary is the only country out of the ten most successful ones never to have hosted the Olympics, he noted.
Hungary ranked eighth on the cumulative Summer Games table before the Rio event.
Speaking about the Olympians of the future, Orbán said that with the world “heading in an unfortunate direction”, parents and grandparents need new ways to help the young generation discover a purpose in life. “There can be no greater help than sports,” he said.