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Hungarian Coat of Arms
Hungarians in the Olympics
 by Bryan Dawson

Did you know...as of 2012, Hungary ranks 8th in the world in medals at the Summer Olympic Games despite its being torn apart after WWI and losing half her total population and 2/3 of her territory. This does not include an additional 6 medals won in the Winter Olympics nor the Hungarians that won medals as nationals of other countries after borders were artificially redrawn or after emigration.

Magyar Olimpiai BiztottsagThe beginnings of the Olympic movement in Hungary go back further than the Games in Athens. Ferenc Kemeny, a great pacifist and member of the International Peace Bureau, was one of Pierre de Coubertin's first kindred spirits, with whom he struck up a friendship in the 1880's. He took an active part in the Congress for the re-establishment of the Games held in Paris in 1894 and was one of the founder members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Coubertin supported Kemeny's suggestion to hold the first Olympics in Budapest in 1896 in honor of Hungary's 1000 years of statehood. Thanks to the Hungarian Olympic Committee and the IOC for many of the pictures here.

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1936 Berlin Highlights

The 1936 Berlin Olympics... are best remembered for Adolf Hitler's failed attempt to use them to prove his theories of Aryan racial superiority. As it turned out, the most popular hero of the Games, even among the German people, was the legendary African-American sprinter and long jumper Jesse Owens... Adding to the insult, an "imperfect" Hungarian amputee also won Gold! To top it off, Ilona Elek, who became the first woman to win two Olympic gold medals in the individual foil competition was half Jewish!

  • The now tiny Hungary finishes third in overall Gold and takes home 43 total medals!
  • Hungarian Fencing Continues its Dominance!
    • Kabos Endre wins 2nd and 3rd Gold Medals and a bronze!
    • Kovacs Pal wins first of 6 Gold Medals!
  • Amputee Waterpoloist Halassy Oliver wins 2nd Gold!
  • Hungary takes 3 individual wrestling Golds!
Medal
Name Event
Gold
Kabos Endre Individual Fencing / vívás kard egyéni
Gold
Elek Ilona Individual Fencing / vívás tőr egyéni
Gold
Gerevich Aladár (Gerei Aladár) Team Fencing / vívás kard csapat
Gold
Rajcsányi László Team Fencing / vívás kard csapat
Gold
Dr. Rajczy Imre Team Fencing / vívás kard csapat
Gold
Kovács Pál Team Fencing / vívás kard csapat
Gold
Berczelly Tibor Team Fencing / vívás kard csapat
Gold
Kabos Endre Team Fencing / vívás kard csapat
Gold
Molnár István Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Bródy György Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Brandy Jenő Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Halassy Olivér (Haltmayer Olivér) Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Homonnai Márton (Hlavacsek Márton) Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Bozsi Mihály Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Kutasy György Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Hazai Kálmán Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Sárkány Miklós Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Tarics Sándor Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Németh János Team Waterpolo / vizilabda csapat
Gold
Csik Ferenc Swimming freestyle relay / úszás 100m gyors
Gold
Harangi Imre Boxing, Lightweight / ökölvívás 60kg
Gold
Csák Ibolya Highjump / magasugrás
Gold
Kárpáti Károly (Kellner Károly) Wrestling / birkózás szabadfogás 66 kg
Gold
Lőrincz Márton Wrestling / birkózás kötöttfogás 56 kg
Gold
Zombori Ödön (Zanich, Janicsek) Wrestling / birkózás szabadfogás 56 kg
Silver
Berzsenyi Ralph dr. (Beusterien Erich) Shooting / sportlövészet kisöbű puska fekvő
Bronze
Abay-Nemes Oszkár Swimming freestyle relay / 4x200 m gyors
Bronze
Gróf Ödön Swimming freestyle relay / 4x200 m gyors
Bronze
Lengyel Árpád Swimming freestyle relay / 4x200 m gyors
Bronze
Csík Ferenc Swimming freestyle relay / 4x200 m gyors
Bronze
Gerevich Aladár Individual Fencing / vívás kard egyéni
Bronze
Palotás József Wrestling / birkózás kötöttfogás 79 kg
Bronze
Platthy József Equestrian / lovaglás dijugratás
Bronze
Csillik Margit Team Gymnastics / torna összetett csapat
Bronze
Mészáros Gabriella Team Gymnastics / torna összetett csapat
Bronze
Tóth Judit (Gamauf Gyuláné) Team Gymnastics / torna összetett csapat
Bronze
Tőrös Olga Team Gymnastics / torna összetett csapat
Bronze
Nagy Margit (Sándorné) Team Gymnastics / torna összetett csapat
Bronze
Voit Eszter (Völgyi Eszter) Team Gymnastics / torna összetett csapat
Bronze
Madary Ilona Team Gymnastics / torna összetett csapat
Bronze
Kalocsai Margit Team Gymnastics / torna összetett csapat
Bronze
Szollás László dr. Figure Skating - pairs / műkorcsolya páros
Bronze
Rotter Emília Figure Skating - pairs / műkorcsolya páros

Search all 1936 medalists (in Hungarian)



1936 Berlin Olympics HighlightsFeatured 1936 Olympians

1936 Waterpolo Team HungaryFeatured Olympian, Halassy Oliver:
(b. 1909 - d. 1946)

A Lesson in Tenacity: Amputee Wins 2nd Gold!
Oliver Halassy embodies the Hungarian Sporting Spirit that has led to her incredible historic Olympic performance. The International Swimming Hall of Famer and Water Poloist Oliver Halassy won his 2nd Gold Medal despite the fact that one of his legs had been amputated below the knee following a streetcar accident. He also won 1928 silver and 1932 gold; European Championships: Gold (1500m freestyle); and 25 Hungarian Individual Swimming Titles (400m to 1500m freestyle).

Oliver Halassy is not the only "handicapped" Hungarian Olympic Medalist. Shooter Karoly Takacs, the "Right-Handed Shooter Who Won With His Left Hand,"... became the first repeat winner of the rapid-fire pistol event, taking Gold Medals in 1948 and 1952. A Sergeant in the Hungarian Army, Takács lost his right hand when a grenade malfunctioned. He was unable to compete in 1940 and 1944 as the war interrupted the Olympic Games and first competed at the age of 38. Fencer Rejto Ildiko, a triumphant "handicapped" icon, and winner of 7 Olympic Medals (two Gold), was still a Champion in 1999! Rejto participated in FIVE Olympics - 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, and 1976 - and won 7 medals!


Csik FerencCsik Ferenc:
(b. Kaposvár 12/12/1913, d. Sopron, 1945)

Gave His Life Helping Others...
This International Swimming Hall of Famer took 1936 gold (100m freestyle) and bronze (800m freestyle relay). He set 3 World Records (relays), 6 European Records (100m freestyle, 400m, 800m freestyle relays) and 13 Hungarian Records (100m, 200m freestyle, 100m, 200m breaststroke; relays); won 4 European Championships (100m freestyle; freestyle relays); and 17 Hungarian Championships (100m, 200m freestyle; 100m, 200m breaststroke; 300m individual medley; 400m, 800m freestyle relays).

A medical doctor, he died at the age of 32 in Sopron in an allied bombing raid while he was tending patients..


Kabos EndreFeatured Olympian, Kabos Endre:
(b. November 5, 1906 - d. November 4, 1944)

One of the World's Greatest Fencers Returns...
Kabos began fencing after receiving a fencing outfit as a birthday present. Although he hid the outfit in his wardrobe, a friend found it and teased him. He enrolled in a fencing club to spite his friend the following day and went on to compete in two Olympiads for the Hungarian fencing team in the 1930s. A sabre specialist, he won four medals (three gold) during his Olympic career. At the 1932 Los Angeles Games, he won a gold medal in the team competition; Hungary defeated the United States (13-3), Italy (9-2), 1936 Fencing Men's Team Hungaryand Poland (9-1) in the finals. Kabos also medaled in the individual competition as he won five of nine matches to the win the bronze (he tied with Erwin Casmir of Germany for third but Kabos was awarded the medal because he received fewer touches in the finals). Kabos also won the individual sabre at the 1933 and 1934 World Championships

Kabos returned to the Olympics four years later at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and dominated the competition. He won gold medals in both the team and individual events, winning 24 of 25 matches in the individual competition, while Hungary as a team went undefeated.


Csak Ibolya Harangi Imre Lorincz Marton Elek Ilona

Click for larger images

 

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