Vendel and Vince Vigvári, two young members of the Hungarian men’s water polo team that won gold at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka last week, come from sporting families. The two polo players’ famous grandparents, Pál Schmitt, former president of Hungary, and Katalin Makray, have already made it to the Olympics and hope that their grandsons will achieve the same, Mandiner reports.
The Hungarian water polo team has a tradition of great performances from its sibling pairs. Earlier the Konrád brothers, later the Steinmetz and the Varga siblings also achieved great success in the national team. The latest pair is the Vigvári brothers, 20-year-old Vince and 21-year-old Vendel, who were also part of the Hungarian national team that won the gold medal at the World Aquatics Championships.
Vendel and Vince Vigvári. Photo: Magyar Vízilabda Szövetség/Kovács Anikó
Their family background is noteworthy:
their mother, Petra Schmitt, was a former tennis player, their grandfather is the two-time Olympic fencing champion Pál Schmitt, and their grandmother is the Olympic silver medalist gymnast, Katalin Makray.
The youngsters presented their grandfather, who was president of Hungary from 2010-2012 and served as vice-president of the European Parliament from 2009-2010, with a jersey bearing the inscription of a world champion.
Pál Schmitt recalled that the Vigvári family chose swimming, and from there the youngsters moved on to water polo. “In our family it was a minimum that the children had to learn how to swim, and our daughters Alexa, Gréta, and Petra, who later became tennis players, and all six grandchildren started swimming at the age of 3-4,” he pointed out. As he said, it helped a lot in the boys’ later careers that they learned to swim very well and at high speed. They can compete with anyone in the world in terms of endurance and speed, but since the boys’ father, Csaba Vigvári, also played water polo, it was a natural choice for them.
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Being together is a huge motivation and helps to get the reserves going, but it does not mean they should not excel in their own positions. Vince, who scored in the semi-final against Spain, helped them to qualify for the final and it really shows that they are up to the task,
emphasized their grandfather.
Pál Schmitt noted that his grandsons could have up to three Olympic cycles in them. “Of course it is a big burden off their shoulders that the Hungarian team has now qualified for the Paris Olympics, but first they will have to be able to get back into a strong Hungarian team, the chosen traveling frame, and that will not be easy. I see them as having the inner drive and the professional humility to do what it takes to win an Olympic title, and frankly, we would like to expand this ‘club’ at home, even within the family,” said the former president with a smile.
Featured photo via Magyar Vízilabda Szövetség/Kovács Anikó