Short EYOF history
The idea of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) was brought to life in 1990 by Jacques Rogge, former president of the European Olympic Committees, with the aim to provide a possibility for young athletes to get to know the Olympic Movement and learn about the Olympic values and ideals, as well as its universality. Furthermore, Mr Rogge wanted to give a chance for the talented youth and Olympic prospects to compete internationally on a high level against each other in an Olympic setting already at an earlier age.
Similarly to the Olympic Games and other continental championships the EYOF is not hosted in every year. It is organised in uneven years, adjusting to the four year Olympic cycle avoiding the Olympic years, and throughout the years it has become one of the highest ranked youth events within the European Continent.
The organisers of the Festival always put emphasis on creating a high quality event for the age group of 15-17. The Hungarian Olympic Committee is proud to be among those, who have participated at all the winter and summer editions of the EYOF, with small but successful delegations.
Olympic champions participated in EYOF competitions
We possess just a few statistic reports about the first EYOFs. According to the available data it is obvious that in relation to the members of our delegations we had statistically significant number of EYOF competitors who qualified either for the winter or the summer Olympic Games.
The results suggest us to draw the conclusion that the participation in the competitions of the EYOF means a perfect preparatory stage for the competitiors on their way to the ‘Big’ Olympic Games.
Our Olympic champions can be proud of their records set up in six EYOF sport:
- Attila Zsivóczky with the result of 221cm is the EYOF record-holder of man’s high-jump.
- Nikolett Szabó with the result of 54.80m is the EYOF record-holder of woman’s javelin throw.
- Éva Risztov is the most productive Hungarian competitor with 5 gold medals. Risztov is the EYOF record-holder of women’s 200m freestyle swimming (2:02.83s) and 200m mixed swimming (2:20.17s).
- Gergő Kis with the result of 15:33.08s is the EYOF record-holder of man’s 1500m in freestyle swimming.
- Balázs Makány with the result of 58.44s is the EYOF record-holder of man’s 100m backstroke.
- Ákos Molnár achieved B qualification level for the Athens Olympics, but he could not take part in it as a competitior. On the basis of his performance in his studies and sport he got the right to represent our country in the Athens Olympic Youth Camp
The Hungarian EYOF
The Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB) is the most important professional supporter of the organization of the Hungarian EYOF. The MOB intends to strengthen with the tender the popularity of one of its missions, the Olymic conception. The professional activities are equally supported by the nine EYOF sport alliances (swimming, athletics, gymnastics, cycling, judo, tennis, handball, basketball, volleyball) and this support was ensured in the documentation of the tender by the support declarations.
The choice of the venue is also not accidental. Győr won the title of being the ‘Sportiest city in Hungary’ in 2010, the capital city of the county in the Small Plain has given place for several international competitions. The opportunity to organize EYOF means a great development and advancement for Hungary and for Győr, on the one hand by training the young talents on the other hand by popularizing infrastructural improvements and sport tourism. The city council equally voted for submitting the tender for the rights of organizing 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival in cooperation with the MOB.
The competition will be hosted by the city of Győr with the aid of the already extant and - for the Festival - the newly developed infrastructure of sport and recreation.
Motivation – Talent now, idol in the future
Baron Pierre de Coubertin wrote his name in the annals of world history when in 1894 – 118 years ago – he realised the importance of the Olympic Games and at the Paris congress suggested rekindling the spirit of the Olympic Games. The representatives of Hungary were present together with the founders in 1894. The Hungarian Olympic Committee was one of the first National Olympic Committees to be founded. Already in the 1896 Olympic Games the Hungarian team won two gold medals. The name Alfréd Hajós is proudly pronounced by Hungarians even today as he was our first Olympic champion. It is an interesting fact that Győr’s outdoor swimming pool was built according to Alfréd Hajós’s designs in 1931.
New perspectives in Hungarian sport will be opened as a result of the organisation of the European Youth Olympic Festival as it lays a firm basis for youth development. Following the completion of the Games all of the facilities in Győr may function as youth development centres that will train the champions of the future. Talents now will be idols in the future means motivation and stimulus for many generations to come. The EYOF calls the attention of thousands of children to the importance of sport, fostering admiration for their classmates and friends who are able to stand on the top of the podium or take part as participants in the Festival. At the same time it serves as a fine example for promoting a healthy lifestyle and the love of sport.
The EYOF is an adventure, a meeting of cultures, the beginning of friendships, the first steps of careers and the possibility of a starting point for the champions of the future. The objective of the bid – besides serving the interest of athletes in all circumstances – is to ensure cultural meeting points, the opening of countries to each other and the advancement of Hungarian culture’s popularity. This is the impetus behind the candidature of Győr: One spirit, whole EUROPE!