The territorial distribution of last year’s results in the Olympic sports shows that the capital is settling into Hungarian sports as a huge head of water.
According to the data of the CSO in January 2021, the population of Hungary is 9,730,772. Of this, 1,723,836 live in Budapest. This is 17.7 percent of the Hungarian population. It is important to record all this at the beginning in order to see how distorted and capital-centric Hungarian elite sports, Olympism, are.
Given this 17.7 percent, it is far from normal that at the most important sporting event of 2021, the Tokyo Olympics, Hungarian athletes
- 55.23 percent (95 out of 172) came from an association in Budapest (24 clubs delegated starters).
- Of the 156 Olympic points earned by the Hungarian delegation, 115.15, or 73.81 percent, were collected by the best clubs in the capital.
The remaining 26.19 percent is shared by 77 athletes from 29 settlements. After the capital, Győr (10 athletes, 7.05 percent), Szeged (5 people, 4.1 percent) and Veszprém (4 people, 3.21 percent more) are the three “best sports” settlements. Surprisingly, none of the eight athletes in the country’s second largest city, Debrecen, scored at the Tokyo Olympics.
The exhaustive effect of the capital is a great example of that Kristóf Milák he left an educational association shortly before the Olympics and was admitted to the Budapest Army, solely because of the large association providing better conditions in all areas.
World and European Championships
The difference is even more polar if we look beyond the two weeks of the Olympics and get all the World and European Championships in the 2021 Olympic sport under our scrutiny.
92.22 percent of the scoring Hungarian athletes are athletes of the Budapest Association, compared to 75.9 percent of the European Championships.
Two rural associations (Győr Water Sports Association and Balaton Swimming Club Veszprém) were among the top ten in the ranking of Olympic scorers, while none of them was ranked in the top 5 of the World Cups and European Championships.
Of course, only those who do not know the history of the last 76 years of Hungarian sports are really surprised by this gross distortion. During the 45 years of socialism, the ministry associations became dominant, and although in 1998 the first Fidesz government cut off Hungarian sports from state bodies, not much has changed.
Leading sport has been a key strategic sector since 2011. The unprecedented level of state support and federal funding has not only put the leading clubs in rural cities and county capitals in position, it has not improved on this distorted “sports performance map”, but rather strengthened it, thus stabilizing the balance of power between 1945 and 1990.