A MOB és a MPB stratégiai partnere

About Albert Berzeviczy

At the initiative of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB), the Budapest Olympics Movement (BOM) scholarship program was named after Albert Berzeviczy in 2020

One hundred years after Budapest was not allowed to organise the 1920 summer Olympic games due to its defeat in World War I, the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB) launched an initiative to name the scholarship program, in place since 2014, after the MOB’s first President, Albert Berzeviczy, which the BOM Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved in 2020.

berzeviczy-albert.jpgDr. Albert Berzeviczy was ministerial adviser for educational and religious affairs to Kálmán Tisza’s government starting in 1884, following which he served as State Secretary for Public Administration, devoting his work to expand school physical education to all of the nation’s schools and participated in establishing the Association of Hungarian Gymnastics Clubs. He continued his work in the interest of developing the nation’s science, education, and sports activities as Minister for Education and Religion under the Tisza government between 1903 and 1905 and then went on to become the Hungarian Academy of Science’s longest reigning president, in office from 1905 to 1936.

In 1895, Berzeviczy participated in establishing the Hungarian Olympic Committee: as its first president, he not only managed to get Hungary to participate in the first modern Olympic Games, but also had the Hungarian athletes compete in the 1896 summer games in Athens as representatives of the Kingdom of Hungary instead of the Austro-Hungarian Empire: seven athletes represented Hungary in six sports, winning six Olympic medals, putting Hungary in 6th place in the unofficial ranking.

Albert Berzeviczy was committed to bringing the Olympic Games to Budapest. In 1895, when it seemed Athens would be unable to host the first summer games for financial reasons, he attempted to secure Budapest the spot of host instead of the Greek capital. In 1911, as the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Berzeviczy hosted the 14th Congress of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), where it was announced that the Hungarian capital would be applying to host the 1916 Olympics. One year later, at the Stockholm Olympics, the IOC decided that Berlin would host the 1916 summer games and, in theory, that Budapest would be the host in 1920. The IOC confirmed its decision at its Paris Congress on 20 June 1914. Eight days later, Gavrilo Princip shot the heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand, leading to the outbreak of World War I, which pushed the possibility of holding Olympics in Budapest far away. As a loser in the Great War, Hungary was not even allowed to participate in the Antwerp Olympics held between 20 April and 12 September 1920; instead, the Hungarian public was attempting to deal with the Trianon peace dictate.

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“Albert Berzeviczy, the first President of the MOB and the leader of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at the time, voiced his strong opposition in July 1914 against Vienna deciding that the Monarchy should declare war against Serbia. History showed he was right. If World War I had not taken place, Hungary would be celebrating the centenary of the Budapest Olympics instead of the Treaty of Trianon. Berzeviczy’s work in both sports and education is exemplary: introducing Hungary to the values of the five-ringed Olympics and popularising those values played an important role, for which the MOB rightly considered having the education scholarship operated by the BOM Foundation named after him. It is our opinion that this initiative will further this unique organisation’s prestige in an international context as well,” said Krisztián Kulcsár, President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee.

The BOM Foundation for Hungarian Sport, which has been the strategic partner of the Hungarian Olympic Committee and the Hungarian Paralympic Committee since 2018, has been using its scholarship programme to support the education of young talented Olympic and paralympic athletes since 2014. Those athletes may apply for, and be awarded, the Albert Berzeviczy Scholarship who study in higher education institutions in addition to their careers as top athletes. The aim of the programme is to provide suitable financial conditions for college, university, and high education vocational training students preparing to participate in the Olympics or Paralympic Games. The scholarship helps ensure that in possession of their education, these athletes will start off their civilian lives with a strong foundation after finishing their sports careers.

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