Watching from the stand by the canoe/ kayak course in Rio, Mr. Orbán saw the victory of the Hungarian women’s kayak four.
After the race he told the Hungarian News Agency MTI that “This is the first Olympic gold that I have been able to see in real life and, naturally, it made a great impression on me”.
He added that every one of the Hungarians supporting at the venue appreciated that this was a moment in sporting history, as Danuta Kozák won her fifth gold medal, and this is something that “should be greatly appreciated”.
“Danuta, who is one of our most intelligent Hungarian athletes, will not say so of her own accord. There are characters who radiate success, victory and historic deeds. She is a modest, quiet girl, and it is therefore our duty to tell the world that she achieved something […] that no one had achieved before”, he stressed.
Mr. Orbán believes that the success of Tamara Csipes, who after the kayak four race is now an Olympic champion for the first time and who has followed in the footsteps of her father in becoming an Olympic champion, amply symbolises that Hungarian sports “is a large family”.
The Prime Minister said that he is up-to-date on sporting matters, as he begins every day by reading the latest sports news.
“I am convinced that right now the world is heading in an unfortunate direction. It is very difficult to make the young generations understand what is meaningful in life and what is not”, he said, indicating that therefore parents and grandparents need the means to enable them to provide help for their children.
“There is no better help than sport”, he said, adding that this is why he is committed to it.
Mr. Orbán said that his commitment is “Not only to professional sport, but to sport in general, to physical education in schools, to small sports clubs, to an increase in the number of registered athletes, and to the appropriate appreciation and remuneration of sports trainers and coaches”. .
Canoe/ kayak – and all other sports disciplines – can continue to rely on the support of the Hungarian government, he added.
Speaking about the Hungarian achievements in Rio, he said that Hungary has once again succeeded in performing better than other larger and richer nations.
“If I include the entire Hungarian population worldwide, we account for just 0.2 per cent of the world’s population. Compared with this figure, we beat the world eight times. Among the seven billion people on Earth we proved to be the best eight times”, he said, referring to the eight gold medals won by Hungary in Rio.
He drew attention to the fact that, compared with London, far more countries won medals and gold medals in Rio, while the number of events had not increased.
As a result, “even just retaining the positions earned in earlier years required an enormous increase in performance on the part of everyone”, he added.
“Those who qualified for the Olympic Games – regardless of the final result – deserve our respect and thanks for the years of their lives sacrificed in representing Hungary in international competitions”, the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Orbán also pointed out that Hungary’s Olympic achievements constitute the foundations of the 2024 Budapest Olympic bid.
“If we were not among the world’s ten best nations in Olympic history, with our size and economic strength we would not stand a chance of making a strong case to the rest of the world as to why it should come to Budapest in 2024 to see the Olympic Games”, he said.
“The Hungarian people have earned this with their work over the past hundred years. This is the decisive argument”, the Prime Minister said, adding that, of the world’s ten most successful Olympic nations, Hungary is the only one which has not yet had the opportunity to host the Olympic Games.