THE HUNGARIAN SKI ASSOCIATION IS MORE THAN 100 YEARS OLD
The first Hungarian skier seems to have been the well-known ornithologist István Chernel, who came across skiing in Norway in 1891 and learnt how to ski on his trip to Lapland. On his return to Hungary he demonstrated the basics. The first organised course was held in 1907. The first Hungarian championship was held in Tátraszéplak (today Tatranka Polianska, Slovakia) in 1911. A year later the Hungarian Ski Club was founded to coordinate competitions and skiing life in Hungary.
On 15 July 1913 fourteen ski clubs formed the Hungarian Ski Association, which became a member of the International Ski Commission in 1914. Competitions were suspended during the years of the First World War. The turbulent times and the post-war loss of territory were severe setbacks for the sport in Hungary. However, reorganization began shortly, and pistes and ski-jumping facilities were developed. Hungarian competitive skiers gradually returned to international sporting life. At the 1924 Congress in Chamonix 14 countries including Hungary established the International Ski Federation.
After the 1936 Winter Olympics, Hungarian skiing developed greatly. The territories with many new competitors that Hungary regained in the run up to and early years of the Second World War benefited the sport. The post-war redrawing of the country’s borders was an impediment to the spectacular improvement of Hungarian skiing as the loss of mountains with guaranteed snow on the ski slopes was a new blow to the sport. During the war the Association’s library and archives were destroyed, and countless skiers and organizers lost their lives. Thanks to enthusiastic work and marvelous personalities, the Association recovered. The revitalized Ski Association soon became involved in international sporting life and achieved good results in various international competitions. After 1948, all Hungarian sport came under state control. The country’s political isolation meant that foreign relations were almost entirely severed, and Hungary’s top sportsmen and women at best could compete with the other socialist countries.
At the time of the 1956 Revolution almost 50 high-class skiers left the country. The sport in Hungary was unable to keep pace with international improvements and technical developments. The number of clubs, competitors and coaches diminished. The leaders of the sport first decided to compete with smaller teams and then not to take part in world competitions at all. In the early 1970s efforts focused on strengthening the biathlon. After 1989, the path to neighboring countries opened for skiing as both a mass and competitive sport.
Nowadays there are a lot of excellent results. Alpine skier Edith Miklos achieved the best results. In Winter Olympics in 2014, Edit Miklos finished 16th in the super combined and 7th in downhill, achieving the country's best result in any Olympic alpine race, beating all skiers from Austria, the most successful nation in alpine skiing at the Olympics. The result also made her the top Hungarian sportswoman at the Games. She set a new personal best in World Cup competition with a fifth place in downhill at Crans-Montana in 2014. She gained her first World Cup podium, also Hungary's first, with a third place finish in downhill at St. Moritz in January 2015. At the 2015 World Championships in Beever Creek (USA), she finished 13th in the downhill, achieving the country's best result in any World Championships alpine race.
There is another alpine skier who competes in World Cup. Samsal Dalibor competes in Hungarian colors since 2014, getting better and better results in slalom in the competitions.
The junior athletes of the Hungarian Ski Association also perform well on the EYOF, on the Junior World Championships and the Youth Olympic Games. The next generation has a good chance to reach good results in the next Winter Olympics and the World Championships. Most of them live and study in ski schools in Austria. The Hungarian Ski Association gives them all of the assistance to become successful racers.
Hungarian Ski Federation
Istvánmezei út 1-3
Phone: +36 1 4606893
Fax: +36 1 4606894