IG's on-the-road coverage from Central Europe this week continues in Györ, Hungary, where John Crumlish met Tuesday with 1988 Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Zsolt Borkai. Currently serving his first term as mayor of his hometown, Borkai told IG he is enjoying his new career in public office.
1988 Olympic gold medalist Zsolt Borkai is now mayor of the Hungarian town of Györ.
Borkai, who finished first in a three-way tie on pommel horse at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, said representing Györ in official capacity was a natural decision.
"I was born here and got a lot from the city, and I wanted to give something back to the city," Borkai said, relaxing for a few minutes in his office at Györ's stately Town Hall. "It was my family, friends and all the people I know who motivated me to stay here. I spent several years in Budapest and Germany, but it was always obvious that I would return to my beloved city because of the connections I have here."
Györ, which was first inhabited by the Celts in the fifth century B.C., is Hungary's sixth-largest city. It is renowned as a center for international business, the arts and higher education, as well as for its historical squares, cathedrals and baroque architecture.
Borkai said public office presents challenges - some familiar and some completely different from those he faced as a gymnast. Read a profile on Borkai - in which he discusses those challenges, his efforts to provide opportunities to the next generation of Hungarian athletes, and how he rates himself against current Hungarian pommel-horse star Krisztian Berki - in the January/February 2010 issue of International Gymnast magazine.
Check back here on IG Online on Wednesday, when John Crumlish will report from Bratislava, Slovakia - and a visit there with a leading gymnastics author, historian and archivist.