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A walkway that bears the name of the canoeing legend from Csepel

Statue of György KolonicsCsepelGreater Budapest

A bronze statue of the world-class canoeist György Kolonics, who died tragically young, was unveiled in Csepel on 4 June 2019, which would have been his 45th birthday. This area of Budapest is where he set off on his journey towards sporting success. The walkway along the bank of the Kis-Duna has also borne his name since that day.

The two-time Olympic champion, 15-time world champion and three-time European champion canoeist, who also won two Olympic bronze medals, achieved his great successes in Csepel’s colours. His talent for sport and his sense of humour made him one of the greats from a young age. The world-renowned athlete died in his canoe during training on 15 July 2008, just three weeks shy of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was only 36 years old when dilated cardiomyopathy claimed his life.

As all his fans knew him…

Kolonics has been commemorated by numerous awards, competitions, facilities and events. The decision that the walkway along the bank of the Kis-Duna would bear his name was made in May 2017. A street sign and a bronze statue of György Kolonics were unveiled in the presence of family members and fellow athletes on what would have been the sporting legend’s 45th birthday. The statue, which depicts the canoeing star as all sports-loving people knew him, with a paddle in his hand, was created by Tibor Sárossy. Some of the artist’s other works, including a Trianon memorial, are also located in Csepel.

A wild walking route

Take a stroll along the wildly romantic, yet well-kept György Kolonics walkway, which is one of Csepel’s hidden treasures. The walkway is popular with families, dog-walkers and cyclists, and of course water sports enthusiasts as well. Crossing the wooden bridge at Kis-Duna Bay you can see some of the unique wildlife this beautiful natural area has to offer. Enjoy watching the aquatic insects, fish and birds that often show up in and around the bay. Animal lovers might want to venture a little further on Csepel Island, possibly by bike, to the wildlife park at Szigethalom, which you can even explore on the back of a pony. The petting zoo and animal feeding events are popular with children.