Owners of the largest Hungarian gyms asked the government in a petition to provide them meaningful help, because most places are struggling with “accumulated bills of millions” because of the closures and restrictions due to the coronavirus epidemic. On Hungarian television channel ATV, one of the gym owners talked about the hard times they are facing, and they called Austrian-American Hollywood actor, bodybuilder, and former politician Arnold Schwarzenegger in the live show, who said in his opinion, gyms could stay open if appropriate precautions are taken.
The guest of the ATV show was Ádám Szedlacskó, the owner of Flex Gym, who talked about the petition gym owners sent to the government in order to ask for help in the epidemic situation. He said that gyms are “in big trouble” because since the spring shutdown due to the first wave of the epidemic, gyms have been “accumulating debts.” Then, the show also called Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom Szedlacskó has known since 2015.
photo: Screenshot from ATV’s Egyenes beszéd
Schwarzenegger said he still trains every day, such as cycling outside. Then he pointed out that the situation for the gyms in America is similar to that in Hungary, as they are also closed. However, he added that by “wearing masks, ventilation, and hand disinfection, complete closures could be avoidable.”
Szedlacskó then argued that it was no more dangerous to be in the gym than to be in a crowded parking lot of a store. He said that nearly one million people go to the gym regularly and closures also affect 20,000 workers. The gym owner added: “…as Arnold said, training must continue.”
Regarding how much reserves the gyms still have, Szedlacskó said, “from January onwards, I would like the gyms to reopen,” adding that “we would do whatever the operative board wants from us to be able to re-open,” he concluded.
featured photo by MTI/EPA/Enric Fontcuberta