Hungary and Australia sign Olympic agreement

22 March 2012

Australia and Hungary have joined Olympic forces under a new agreement signed in Sydney today.

Coming together from far corners of the world, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and the Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC) are undertaking the partnership for the mutual benefit of their Summer, Winter and Youth Olympians alike.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Australian Olympic Committee President, John Coates and President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC), Mr Zsolt Borkai.

Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding the two National Olympic Committees will engage in the sharing of knowledge, experiences and personnel in fields such as research, sport science, education and medicine.

“There is a wealth of knowledge that can be sourced from the pool of sporting experts in Hungary and Australia. This will directly benefit athletes training for the Olympic Games of the future,” Coates said.

“We are particularly looking forward to working with Hungary in sports such as canoe/kayak, fencing and water polo where they have proven themselves on the Olympic stage time and time again. In water polo for example, the Hungarian men’s team is on a remarkable streak, winning gold at every Games since the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

“Our athletes, coaches and sports specialists can learn a great deal from our Hungarian friends courtesy of this partnership,” he said.

The agreement comes just days after the Australian Canoe/Kayak - Slalom Team announcement, a sport which Hungary has dominated with a remarkable 71 Olympic medals. Australia enjoyed canoe/kayak success of its own with three medals in Beijing, and as more athletes flock to the sport to emulate their heroes, this agreement gives rising stars invaluable opportunities.

“Our athletes will have the opportunity to compete in bilateral and multilateral events being held in Australia and Hungary. They will also have the chance to train abroad which is particularly advantageous given our differing climates,” Coates said.

While London 2012 preparations for most sports have already been finalised, post-London, there is the lure of athlete exchanges between respective national federations and the use of training centres.

The Hungarian Olympic Committee will also send a Team to Australia for the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) from 16 - 20 January, 2013 in Sydney.

At the last edition of the AYOF in 2009, 1,409 athletes from 30 countries competed. True to form, Hungary won nine medals in canoe/kayak, gold in the men’s water polo and silver in the women’s event. The 2009 AYOF also saw the rise of Australian cyclists Melissa Hoskins, Annette Edmondson, Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn, swimmer Leiston Pickett and Great Briatin’s triathlon star Jonothan Brownlee.