The Hungarian ambassadors of the ISU World Cup Short Track 2021 are Bernadett Heidum and Viktor Knoch. In the pre-competition period, they are visiting schools in Debrecen to introduce short track to young people and motivate children to lead a sporty lifestyle.
The member of the Hungarian short track women's relay, that won the gold medal on the European Championship for the first time, represented Hungary at world competitions for more than a decade. She participated in three Olympics, scoring points on all three. She retired from competitive short track in early 2018 and continued her career as a coach at MTK. In her everyday life, she is currently focusing on her little daughter, Zoe, but she would like to return to coaching later.
“I often tell children about my own experiences, what I owe to this sport: my endurance, my values, that I could travel the world, represent the country at world competitions, and, in the meantime, I made lifelong friendships. In this sport, everyone dreams about the Olympics from early ages, so this World Cup series is of utmost importance and there will be plenty of excitement. I will gladly use all my experience and dedication for the promotion of the event. I encourage everybody to visit the World Cup round at Debrecen’s Főnix Arena, as cheering along with thousands of people is a great feeling, and I know from experience that it means a lot to the athletes as well.”
One of the most outstanding Hungarian short trackers of the last decade announced his retirement in the spring of 2019. However, the champion of the 5000-meter men’s relay at the 2018 Winter Olympics remained close to the ice and, in addition to his coaching activities, promotes short-track speed skating as an ambassador for the World Cup among young and old alike.
“I have lived all my life for this sport so far, and as an ambassador, I consider it important to make younger generations see its beauty; how exciting it is to compete fairly with others, the special feeling of leaning in turns, and the team spirit itself that gave me so much. The children are very interested, they kept asking me questions for almost an hour during the first school visit, and the event altogether was very cheerful. I am confident that many young people will get to love this sport and many of us will support the Hungarian team at the World Cup.”