The growing discontent within the Hungarian swimming world came to a head today, as Tamás Gyárfás, Chief of the Hungarian Swimming Federation and Vice President within FINA, announced his resignation.
After facing recent, highly publicized criticism by the nation’s top swimmers, including Katinka Hosszu and Daniel Gyurta, Gyárfás issued the following statement to the MTI news agency.
Thank you. I became chairman of the Swimming Association in 1993. It was a honor to cooperate with great coaches, managers and athletes. It was great to be a part of the five European Championships Hungary hosted and I am happy to have been there when we won the right to host the FINA World Championships. The biggest joy is to see that our new swimming complex is already under-construction. I wish the most successful sport to find the most suitable president in a short time. (Tamás Gyárfás)
Hosszu has been the most vocal critic of training conditions and overall support given by the Hungarian Swimming Federation in most recent years. Coached by her husband, Shane Tusup, Hosszu called a press conference in December 2015 to criticize the Hungarian swimming federation for failing to provide enough resources to its swimmers. Hosszu expressed that “while the Hungarian Swimming Federation expects world-class performances, the support they provide is far from world-class level.”
After achieving 2 gold medals and a bronze at the 2015 World Championships, followed by a monstrously successful Olympic Games rendering the swimmer with 3 Olympic golds, Hosszu continued her verbal attack on the federation post-Rio. Hosszu was sharply critical of the Hungarian federation’s support for national swimmers, saying her training conditions weren’t satisfactory. She called Gyárfás a “damaging factor” in the organization.
For his part, Gyurta concurred, conveying via his social media accounts, “It appears that there is no order around the Hungarian swimming federation,” he said (in a rough translation of the Hungarian), “and the saddest thing is that the swimmers – whom the whole thing should be about – will suffer.”
This federation shake-up is happening less than a year out from Budapest hosting the 2017 FINA World Championships. Also, the city is one of 3 candidates remaining in contention to host the 2024 Olympic Games. With the resignation announcement only being revealed this morning, any potential candidates to transition into the now-vacant role have yet to be brought forth.
As a subtle nod to what she most certainly considers a victory, Hosszu did post the following picture this morning including the quote, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
"A legsötétebb éjszaka is idővel véget ér és kisüt a nap!"
"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!" pic.twitter.com/mK0RlqVpLt
— Iron Lady (@HosszuKatinka) November 30, 2016