Hungary’s three-time Olympic champion swimmer Katinka Hosszú announced on Tuesday the founding of a new international swimming body, the Global Association of Professional Swimmers (GAPS).
GAPS is reportedly being set up with the participation of 30 swimmers, including 15 Olympic champions, with a view to counterbalancing “chaos” in the international swimming association FINA. “We now rightfully expect that leaders of FINA will give us a seat at the table,” Hosszú said on her Facebook page, adding that the new body wanted FINA to treat swimmers as equal partners. “We expect that they will sit down and start talking to us. We expect that they will listen to the voice of the professional swimmers and we expect to have a say in important decisions about the future of our sport,” Hosszú said.
“I was hoping that my last letter would have a light bulb effect for many of you, but even I underestimated the rate at which everything would happen. I do not mean the fact that the press would quickly jump on the topic, or that many people who were never interested in swimming will start asking questions about the sport, but I mean the speed and ease at which all of us, the swimmers, have started to come together as one,” she said referring to an open letter published on June 21 asking swimmers to take action together against what she described as chaos in the international swimming association FINA.
Meanwhile, Zsolt Hernádi, CEO of Hungary’s oil and gas giant MOL, has announced the company has signed a sponsorship agreement with Katinka Hosszú. MOL is also known as the “national sponsor” of the Budapest 2017 World Aquatics Championship, supporting swimmer Dániel Gyurta as well as the Men’s national water polo team. Budapest and Balatonfüred are hosting the FINA world championships between July 14 and 30.
via MTI, Katinka Hosszú’s official Facebook page and MOL’s official Facebook page