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Road to 100 years: Celebrating the historical significance of AIPS in shaping sports journalism

On July 2, 2024, AIPS will celebrate its Centennial, and last Sunday sports journalists’ associations around the world organised events to underline that our Association has begun the “year-long lap” towards this special and important goal.

On Sunday in Budapest, Hungary, we participated in an event organised by the Hungarian Sports Journalist Association, which saw the participation of prominent sportspersons like two-time Olympic gold medal-winning fencer Pál Schmitt, former President of Hungary and honorary member of the International Olympic Committee. Also in attendance were the HSJA president and AIPS Europe vice-president György Szöllősi; HSJA and AIPS vice-president Zsuzsa Csisztu, AIPS Secretary General Jura Ozmec; Dr Tímea Surányi-Vadas great-granddaughter of Gyula Vadas, former Vice president of AIPS; Márton Gyulai, Co-Deputy CEO of LOC World Athletics Championships, Budapest 2023; and Dr Gertúd Mamusich grand-daughter of the renowned Nemzeti Sport football journalist in the 20s, 30’s and former AIPS vice-president Dr Mamusich Mihály. AIPS President Gianni Merlo delivered a compelling speech online, further accentuating the historical significance of AIPS and its pivotal role in capturing and reporting on sporting moments over the past century. Merlo also introduced the upcoming World Athletics Championships, Budapest 2023.

MULTIPLYING THE IMPACT In the words of Pál Schmitt, “You bring the excitement, you bring everything to all the people who are not present.” The power of sports journalism lies in its ability to reach far beyond the confines of stadiums. With the potential to captivate an audience of over a billion, journalists become conduits of inspiration, transmitting messages of fair play, sportsmanship, and pride. They possess the remarkable responsibility of shaping public perception and highlighting the achievements of athletes as role models.

ENDURING LEGACY The anniversary event in Budapest served as a reminder of the importance of sports journalism and its deep-rooted connection to the Olympic movement. The attendees honoured the legacy of AIPS, with the descendants of key figures proudly displaying historical artefacts, such as a diploma received by Mamusich Mihály at the 1924 Paris Summer Olympics Games, featuring the signature of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. The occasion emphasised the enduring impact of AIPS in shaping sports journalism and fostering international collaboration among journalists. Overall, the celebration marked a significant milestone for AIPS and provided an opportunity to reflect on its rich history and ongoing contributions to the field.

ROAD TO WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS The forthcoming World Championships in Budapest epitomise the global nature of sports journalism. With heightened interest from TV broadcasters, sports writers, and photographers, the event promises to captivate audiences from every corner of the world.

“We will make sure that the right people from the LOC will be in that media centre every single day, starting from August 19, to make sure that the level of discussion is the right one with the sports writers, with the broadcasters, with everybody,” emphasises Márton Gyulai, an experienced international sports executive who has successfully organised numerous world and European championships, with a primary focus on athletics. It is worth noting that Márton Gyulai’s father, István Gyulai, played a pivotal role in the realm of sports journalism as a former Hungarian television commentator and General Secretary of both the IAAF (now World Athletics) and the AIPS.

Credit: AIPS 

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