Hungary’s sport-life started in the 19th century when the first official and professional sports clubs and associations were established in the country. At the end of the century, all Hungarian citizen had the opportunity to take up a sport and lead a healthy lifestyle. When the era of the Modern Olympic Games started, Hungary sent its most professional sportsmen and women to take part in different games. Below you can read about five outstanding Hungarian men who wrote themselves into the history of the Hungarian sport.
Zoltán Blum (1892–1959)
He is considered to be Hungary’s first most significant football player and the best football coach between the two World Wars.
He started his career when he was thirteen at Ferencváros Club in Budapest. He and his team won eight Hungarian championships between 1911 and 1927.
He took part in the Olympic Games in Stockholm, 1912, where Ferencváros got the fifth place.
Roland Jacobi (1893–1951)
Born on 9 March 1893, in Besztercebánya (Transylvania) he was a four-time World Champion table tennis player, coach and the member of the Hungarian table tennis team from 1925 until 1928.
In 1926 London organised the world’s first table tennis championship where Jacobi won the first place both in individual and team. He also won a silver medal at this competition.
In 1928 he received a bronze medal at the European Championship in Stockholm and after this, he retired and became a coach.
Pál Kovács (1912–1995)
Kovács started his career as a hurdler, but later he switched to fencing. He was already the member of the winning Hungarian team because they won the 1933 World Championship not just as a team but individually as well. Kovács also received a gold medal at this championship.
He took part in the Olympic Games from 1936 until 1960 and won six Olympic gold medals and one bronze one!
In 1980, he became vice-president of the Fédération Internationale d’Escrime. He died in Budapest in July 1995.
Nándor Hidegkuti (1922–2002)
He was a Hungarian football player, manager and a member of the legendary Golden Team. He played as a forward or attacking mid player.
He was known for his incredible and dynamic game on the field where he always left the opponent players in confusion. His legendary game at the Wembley Stadium where the Hungarian team won against England for 6-3 made him one of the most successful and iconic Hungarian football players of all time.
He and his team won the 1952 Olympic Games. He died after a long illness on February 14, 2002. Today, Hidegkuti Nándor Stadium commemorates the legendary player.
László Tábori (1931–2018)
He was a middle- and long-distance runner, best known for achieving the 1500 metres running world record and for his fourth place at the 1956 Olympic Games.
His career as a runner started in the 1950s but he fell in love with running in his youth. He was the member of the legendary Hungarian club the Budapest Honvéd.
In the 1960s he emigrated into the United States where he became a coach at the University of Southern California. He died in Los Angeles on May 23, 2018.
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