As host of the FINA World Championships in 2017, Budapest, Hungary will also be the site of the FINA World Aquatics Gala and Award Dinner “Soirée des Etoiles”. This year’s event, the 2nd edition of the Gala, is slated to take place on Sunday, January 31st.
The gala and dinner are meant to pay tribute to the aquatic stars of the year, including honoring those deemed “best athlete” based on FINA event points, world rankings and accumulation of World Records. The best athlete announcements will actually be made publicly in a press conference scheduled for earlier on that Sunday.
One woman and one man from the disciplines of swimming, high diving, diving, open water swimming and water polo will be awarded, as will one winner from the sport of synchronized swimming.
Also scheduled to be announced during the January 31st press conference are the hosts of the 2021 and 2023 FINA World Championships. At one point, a total of eight cities had expressed an interest in hosting the 2021 and 2023 FINA World Aquatic Championships, but that list has dwindled down to just three and it now looks as if the list will remain with the cities of Nanjing, China, Fukuoka, Japan and Doha, Qatar.
Australia and Germany were the first two potential hosts to drop their bid, followed by the United Arab Emirates and then most recently by Argentina. Budapest, Hungary was originally awarded the 2021 edition of the championships but, due to the city of Guadalajara, Mexico backing out of their 2017 hosting duties, stepped up and took on that event instead. As such, Budapest’s 2021 hosting spot became open again. Gwangju, South Korea, the site of this year’s World University Games, has already been awarded the 2019 FINA World Championships.
Originally, FINA was due to make the 2021 and 2023 host decision during a meeting in Dubai on November 8th, however, we reported back in October that the host-determination date was pushed back to January.