Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Budapest 2024 give key role to Olympic gold medallist as Bach arrives in Hungarian capital Add comment By Duncan Mackay

Sydney 2000 gold medallist Ágnes Kovács is set to play leading role in Budapest's bid to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics after being appointed head of its Athletes' Commission.
She is one of several Olympic gold medallists expected to play a leading role in the Hungarian capital's campaign.
It has already been announced that Kovács will be joined by Attila Mizsér, a modern pentathlon gold medallist, as director of sports and venues. 
Kovács is one of Hungary's best-known sports personalities.
She was voted Hungary's Sportswoman of the Year for four consecutive years between 1997 and 2000, the final year in recognition of her Olympic gold medal in the 200 metres breaststroke.
Kovács also won an Olympic bronze medal at Atlanta 1996 and two World Championship and seven European  titles.
The 34-year-old has held several positions since her retirement, including UNICEF's Hungary's sports envoy between 2010 and 2013. 
She is also a member of the Executive Board of the Hungarian Swimming Federation and was last year inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. 
Kovács will be going head-to-head with another former swimmer, triple Olympic gold medallist Janet Evans, who is head of the Los Angeles 2024 Athletes' Commission.

Ágnes Kovács, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame last year, has been appointed as the head of the Budapest 2024 Athletes' Commission ©YouTube
Ágnes Kovács, inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame last year, has been appointed as the head of the Budapest 2024 Athletes' Commission ©YouTube
Mizsér, a member of the Hungarian squad that won the modern pentathlon team gold medal at Seoul 1988, will play a vital role in working closely with the 28 International Federations to ensure their needs are catered for if Budapest is awarded the Olympics.
The 54-year-old, winner of an Olympic individual silver medal at Barcelona 1992 and also five-time world champion, has already started his role and it is claimed he brings a proven track record in sports, as well as a strong financial and managerial background.
Both he and Kovács were among a group of Hungary's Olympic gold medallists who met International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during a visit here today. 
He was joined Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB) President Zsolt Borkai, an Olympic gymnastics gold medallist in 1988, and IOC member Pál Schmitt, a two-time Olympic fencing champion at Mexico City 1968 and Munich 1972.
IOC Honorary Member Tamás Aján, President of the International Weightlifting Federation, and Balázs Fürjes, chairman of Budapest 2024, were also on hand to greet Bach upon his arrival. 

IOC President met with Zsolt Borkai, an Olympic gymnastics gold medallist, who is now head of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, at their headquarters in Budapest ©MOB
IOC President met with Zsolt Borkai, an Olympic gymnastics gold medallist, who is now head of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, at their headquarters in Budapest ©MOB
A series of events have been planned over the next two days to showcase Hungary’s commitment to Bach’s Agenda 2020 vision and celebrate the 120th anniversary of MOB, including a special gala evening at the Hungarian State Opera House.
Bach also had a personal meeting with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
“Our Olympic legacy continues with our ever increasing success at European and World Championships," said Schmitt.
"The recent European Short Course Swimming Championships saw Hungary at the top of the medal table bringing home 11 gold medals.
"Our ability to host large scale events such as formula one, 2017 FINA World Championships and the recent award Budapest received as the European city for Sport in 2019 clearly and firmly places the country on the sporting map.”
Fürjes added “These events serve as proof points of our national sporting capabilities, our commitment to making sports accessible for everyone and the nation’s ability to continue developing world class athletes in a safe and secure environment.”
(Article originally published in: http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1032542/budapest-2024-give-key-role-to-olympic-gold-medallist-as-bach-arrives-in-hungarian-capital)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Remembering Wang Huan - January 7, 1951 - November 24, 2015

Fort Lauderdale - Mr. Wang Huan, who is fondly remembered by his swimming buddies, col-leagues and friends as “Brother Huan,” Old Goat”, “Uncle Big Beard;” passed away on Novem-ber, 24th, 2015, in a car accident in Beltasville, Maryland.  He was 64 years old and is survived by his dear wife Ms. Luo Sha.
Mr. Wang Huan was born on Jan. 7th, 1951, in the People’s Republic of China. His life-long love affair with swimming had been a family tradition, of which his late mother had been a swimming timekeeper and his step father, the oldest master timekeeper.  Mr. Wang Huan started swimming as a teenager, and shared the same pool as world record holders Chi Lieh Yung and Mr. Mu Xiangxiong and was a junior national champion in 100 meter backstroke in 1964 . A member of the Beijing Swimming team, Mr. Wang Huan spent his formative years in the cultural revolution. Although he suffered politically, he was able to educate himself and later became a research fellow at China History Research Institute of the Academy of Social Sciences. Later, Mr. Wang came to the United States and after his further study in US, worked for 20 years at a radio station and excelled as a senior editor. He was an excellent basketball player, actor movie and on stage, a great dancer, poet, patient and dependable and dear friend to everyone who came to know him.
In 2013, Mr. Wang played an instrumental role in the reunion of the Chinese and Ameri-can swimmers and divers in Fort Lauderdale to commemorate the first American Swimmers and Divers' “Friendship though Sports” visit to China in 1973.  He felt honored to collaborate with Louise Zhang and the ISHOF Staff to create a Chinese Swimming History exhibit in both Man-darin and English and felt honored to attend the induction of Mssrs. Chi Lieh Yung and Mu Xiangxiong, who each set new world records in the Men's 100m breaststroke in China in the late 1950s, the into the Hall of
Fame. (Pictured on R: Wang Huan and his wife with Loise Zhang at ISHOF in 2014)
“Mr. Wang was dedicated to make the reunion a success,” says ISHOF CEO Bruce Wigo, and it was an honor to get to know him.”
“His passing away shocked all of us,” says Louise (Xiao) Zhang, “we are deeply sad-dened by the news, and of with heavy hearts, we offer our condolence to his wife and his fami-ly.  Mr. Wang Huan will be fondly remembered by all who have known him during his life. His warm smiles will be forever with us.”