Budapest formally announced on Wednesday its bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
The declaration was made by the Mayor of Budapest, Istvan Tarlos, and Zsolt Borkai, head of the Hungarian Olympic Committee in a letter to the International Olympic Committee.
“The city of Budapest and the Hungarian Olympic Committee wish to participate in the application and bidding process with the aim of selecting the host city for the 2024 Olympics,” the letter read.
Officials were eager to stress that Hungary is the only country among the 10 most successful nations at the summer Olympics not to have ever hosted the Games.
Tarlos was initially opposed to bidding for the Olympics but confirmed that the IOC’s Agenda 2020 reforms, which enable host cities to spend less on staging the event, changed his mind.
“We also welcome that the IOC is orienting itself to a more economical and sustainable organisation of the Olympic Games, by that breaking the monopoly of the largest and wealthiest countries as hosts,” Tarlos and Borkai said.
Hungarian lawmakers have also asked the government to direct any leftover budget revenues from the Olympics to the fledgling Hungarian health services.
Budapest is no stranger when it comes to hosting major international events, having previously organised the European karate and handball championships as well as the FIE world fencing championships.
In 2017, Budapest will host the FINA world swimming championships.
Budapest joins Boston, Paris, Rome and Hamburg as officially declared candidates in the race to host the 2024 Olympics. The deadline for bids is 15 September.