Did you know...as of 2016, Hungary ranks 8th in the world in medals at the Summer Olympic Games despite its being torn apart after WWI and losing half her 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 redrawn or after large-scale emigration.
The 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.
Kemeny took an active part in the Congress for the re-establishment of the Games held in Paris in 1894 and was one of the founding 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. While the dream of hosting an Olympics is not yet realized, Hungary has won more Olympic medals than any other nation that has never hosted the Games.
Hungary in the Olympics - Select a Year:
2004 Athens Highlights
Featured 2004 Olympians
2000 - 2008 Hungarian Water Polo Team
The Hungarian Water Polo Team is considered the world's top power in the history of water polo, having won 15 Olympic, 9 World Championship, 5 FINA World League, 8 FINA World Cup and 21 European Championship medals. Hungary are the current Olympic gold medalists, since the 2008 Olympic Games. [more on Wikpedia]
The match was rough from the beginning but became increasingly violent after Hungary took a 4-0 lead in the second half.At one point a Hungarian player, Ervin Zador, was heavily knocked by a Soviet player and emerged from the pool with serious facial bleeding. The crowd became enraged and police were called to prevent a riot. The match was abandoned shortly before full time and Hungary was credited with a victory. This ultimately secured it the gold medal after the completion of other matches.
Many of the Hungarian team were not able to return to their homeland to rejoice in this victory, choosing instead to remain in Australia or seek refuge in other countries rather than return to their war-ravaged country.
In 2007, the film "Freedom's Fury," (A szabadság Vihara) directed by Colin Gray and Megan Raney (The Sibs), was released. The critically acclaimed, hard-hitting feature documentary about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the "Bloodiest Game in Olympic History," tells the story of the fateful moment in 1956 when Hungary explodes in a popular revolt and climaxes with the infamous water polo showdown between Hungary and the Soviets at the Melbourne Olympics. Now known as the “Blood in the Water Match,” the documentary follows the journey of the Hungarian Olympic water polo team and its young star, Ervin Zador, who find themselves the unwitting focal point of the most politicized sports match ever played.
2002 Winter Olympian, Dana Antal:
Star Forward on Canada's "Golden Girl's" Hockey Team!
Dana's hockey career began in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan at the tender age of five. At first, it was figure skating, then she turned to boys' hockey because everyone else in town was playing. Dana Antal scored three goals and had seven points to help Canada to the gold medal at the world championships last year. She missed the 2000 worlds due to a knee injury. She played college hockey at Cornell University in the U.S., for two years and also spent a season in Switzerland. She now attends the University of Calgary and plays for the Oval X-Treme.
Highlights: Gold medalist at World Championships in 2001; Gold medalist at Four Nations Cup in 2001.
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