Kovács was a member of the Hungarian Olympic team in 1996, 2000 and 2004, winning the gold medal for the 200m breaststroke event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She is also the winner of two World Championships and seven European Championship golds. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2014.
“We all need role models to inspire us in our everyday activities,” Teodóra Bán, director of the Budapest Festival and Tourism Center (BFTK) said at the awarding ceremony. The BFTK founded the cultural and tourism ambassador award in 2017, that year the winner was Roman Catholic priest Zoltán Osztie while last year the award went to Csaba Káel, director of the Budapest Palace of Arts.
Kovács said she is proud to represent Budapest both as her native town and as the location of major sporting events she was part of.