Five Things… about host city Győr

Five Things… about host city Győr

The host city of the 1st FIG Junior World Artistic Gymnastics Championships is Győr, one of the key cities of Western Hungary, the capital of Győr-Moson-Sopron County. Before we get on with the Junior Worlds, let’s see five facts about the host city, concentrating on history and sports!

THE ROOSTER AND THE CITY

You might meet Hugoo, the official mascot of the Junior Worlds. Hugoo is a rooster and the rooster is traditionally tied to the city of Győr as a heraldry figure. As the legend goes, the rooster – an iron rooster, specifically – had a key role in Hungarian and Austrian forces winning back the city from the Ottoman Turks in the late 16th century. Ottoman commander Pasha Sinan apparently told that the Hungarians can only win the keep back if the iron rooster on the bastion starts singing. The local legend states that the iron rooster started to crow during the siege when the Hungarian–Austrian forces mounted their attack (or a brave shoemaker's apprentice imitated the crowing) – and they indeed won the city back. The rooster found its way to many local buildings and to the coat of arms of the local football team.

ON THE RIVERLAND

Győr is called “a folyók városa”, “The City of Rivers” in Hungarian, because it lies where the rivers Moson Danube (Mosoni-Duna), Rába and Rábca meet. No wonder that the city always was a major crossroads and meeting point for travellers and traders alike – hence it is also nicknamed “The City of Meetings”.

BRIGHT FOOTBALL PAST

Győr’s main football (soccer) club (ETO FC Győr lately) has fallen on hard times and plays in the second division, but the number one sport of the country has huge traditions here. Budapest-based teams almost completely dominated the Hungarian league for nearly 100 years, and Győr’s team was one of the very few that could break this spell. Győr won the Hungarian league title in 1963 (only the second non-Budapest club to do so), and then in 1981–82 and 1982–83 – the era that local fans count as the golden one. The last title came in 2012–13 – with four titles Győr is the seventh most successful club in Hungarian league history.

BRILLIANT HANDBALL PRESENT

Audi Aréna, the venue of the Junior World Championships is the home of Győri Audi ETO KC, currently the best women’s handball club of the world. Handball is another favourite sport of the city, and Győr’s local heroines brought a lot of glory: they won the Women’s Champions League five times (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019).

OLYMPIC GLORY

Győr’s Olympic champions include Árpád Orbán and Károly Palotai (both football, 1964), László Keglovich (football, 1968), current city mayor Zsolt Borkai (artistic gymnastics, 1988) and Zoltán Kammerer (kayaking, three-time gold medallist; 2000, 2004).

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