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Olympic Fest of Street Sports in Budapest Coming This June

In Budapest

Between June 20-23, the best athletes in BMX freestyle, breaking, skateboarding, and sport climbing will compete at Ludovika Campus as part of the first Olympic Qualifier Series. The event is a new two-part initiative of the International Olympic Committee, with Budapest having been awarded the right to host the Hungarian stop of the series by the IOC Executive Board.

The event is a chance for competitors to secure a spot in the Paris Olympics.

Held for the first time ever, the world competition is organized by the National Event Management Agency and the Hungarian Olympic Committee, with the involvement of the State Secretariat for Sport of the Ministry of Defence and national federations.

Two Rounds of Qualification

The first round of the two-part series will take place between May 16-19 in Shanghai, which will be followed by the Budapest event. Competitors must perform well in both events to qualify for this year's Summer Olympics. The Olympic Qualifier Series will see top athletes compete in the categories of BMX freestyle, street and park skateboarding, breaking, as well as boulder, speed and lead sport climbing. The competition is the final leap to Paris; over 150 of the 464 athletes in the Olympic Qualifier Series will make it to the Paris Olympic Games, depending on the qualification system for the given sport.

At the press conference held on April 9, Pierre-Fratter Bardy, associate director of Olympic Games Strategy and Development said, "We are thrilled to have Budapest host the final stop of the Olympic Qualifier Series, a city renowned for its ability to host high-profile international events. With 464 of the world's best athletes from over 120 national federations participating, the Series represents the ultimate stage on the road to Paris 2024, offering more than just competition—it's a celebration of the DNA of BMX freestyle, breaking, skateboarding, and sport climbing. This June, the Ludovika Campus will transform into a vibrant Urban Park where sports blend with music, art, and culture, creating a dynamic setting for the Olympic Qualifier Series' grand finale. Following this event, over 150 athletes will secure a spot for Paris 2024."

There will be four Hungarian athletes among the 464 competitors. Zoltán Kempf (Kempf Zozó) will represent Hungary in BMX freestyle, Csenge Szarvák (B-Girl Csenge) and Lobontiu Menotti Noris (Noris by Nature) will show off their talents in breaking, while Nimród Sebestyén Tusnády will prove himself in sport climbing, challenging the best international athletes.

Zsolt Gyulay, president of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, welcomed the Hungarian athletes’ participation in the event with joy.

“The Olympic Qualifier Series is an exciting opportunity for Hungarian athletes to demonstrate their skills in these emerging sports in vibrant, urban locations”, said Zsolt Gyulay, president of HOC.

“I am overjoyed that Hungarian athletes can also test themselves, and see where they stand compared to the best in the world. It will surely be inspiring for them. It is also a great honor that Hungary can be part of this unique initiative, and that we are among the first to organize a competition boasting Olympic symbols such as the five rings. Although I’m coming from a traditional sport, and the Olympics will never lose their special place in my heart, I also understand that the Games need to be kept interesting for the public, that steps need to be taken to maintain and increase the popularity of Olympism," he said.

We have to address and reach the younger generation, offering a new kind of Olympic experience. And the Olympic Qualifier Series is a great opportunity for that, where the youth will have as much fun as families will—the program is very diverse and free to see. Training and preliminaries will be held on Thursday and Friday, and finals on Saturday and Sunday. The cherry on top is that the last day of the event happens to be on Olympic Day, for which my colleagues are preparing various surprises, and the public will even be able to meet former Olympic champions in the park,” he added.

Tradition and Renewal

Balázs Fürjes, co-chairman of the Budapest Local Organising Committee for the 2024 Olympic Qualifier Series, the Hungarian member of the International Olympic Committee, said the following at the press conference, “The Olympic Games, with an almost three-thousand-year-long tradition, have to keep up with the times too: the Olympic program needs constant change and renewal. The goal is to allow the Olympics to remain the most famous and influential sports event of the world in the 21st century, to have it promote unity and cooperation in a divided world, and be interesting and exciting for the digital generations, the current youth too. One of the means to achieve this is the addition of new-generation street sports to the Olympic program."

"Budapest is part of this pioneering enterprise—the road to Paris leads through Budapest. We host an exciting and new, festival-like qualifier marked by the iconic five rings. I wish all the competitors in BMX, skateboarding, sport climbing and breaking a great competition! I hope many young people and families will join us at Ludovika Campus in June, at the first Olympic street festival,” he added.

The event will be held at Ludovika Campus. The organizers are building Olympic competition areas for the event, so the athletes will have the best environment for challenging themselves and each other on three (boulder, lead, speed) climbing walls, two (park, street) skateboarding courses, a breaking arena, and a BMX Freestyle track. The entire program of the event is open and free for the public.

“In the year of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Hungarian Olympic and Paralympic Committees provide all the support necessary for the successful preparation of Hungarian athletes. That is one of the reasons why we supported the organization of such events in Hungary in the spring that allows us to win quotas. Another one of our key goals is to strengthen sports diplomacy through sports coordination, as it allows us to attract key international sports events, along with the most important figures in sports," highlighted Secretary of State for Sports Ádám Schmidt in connection with the event.

"Just as the International Olympic Committee, the Hungarian coordinating bodies for sports do everything they can to maintain the special place of sports in society in the 21st century. In order to achieve this, it is essential that we reach the youth, so it has great significance that Budapest has the opportunity to host an event of the Olympic Qualifier Series. The “Active Nation Programme” national sports programme will also bring various activities to the event, and I hope we can provide an experience for our countrymen that will inspire many to take up a sport," he added.

Urban Festival

As the side event of the Series, the Urban Festival will feature hip-hop, rock, and surf-punk music to match the vibe, including DJ battle and beatbox show. Visitors will also be able to test themselves in the featured sports, as the relevant Hungarian sports federations will provide opportunities for learning, trying out sports equipment, getting advice and more—open to anyone regardless of gender, skill level, or age.

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