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Hungarian Olympic Champion Swimmer Éva Székely Dies at 91

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.03.02.

Éva Székely, Hungarian Olympic champion swimmer and Athlete of the Nation, has died at the age of 91, the Hungarian Swimming Association told MTI.

Born in 1927, Székely held a national record in 1941, but her career was interrupted by the discriminative measures following the Third Jewish Law passed that year.

She reached the peak of her career at the Helsinki Olympic Games, where she won gold with an Olympic record in 200m breaststroke in 1952. She was the first woman in the world to swim the distance in butterfly stroke.

Four years later, in Melbourne, she won silver medal at the same event.

In 1955, she held the first world record in the 400m individual medley.

Later she worked as a pharmacist and a swimming coach. Her most successful pupil was her daughter, who won two medals at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Her former husband was Dezső Gyarmati, multiple Olympic champion in water polo.

In 1976 she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

In the featured photo: Éva Székely in 1954. Photo by Imre Sárosi/Fortepan