Legendary fencer and trainer, sportsman of the nation, and four-time Olympic champion, Győző Kulcsár has died at the age of 77. As Index notes, for more than 50 years he managed to stay at the forefront of the fencing world. Kulcsár was not only one of the most successful Hungarian athletes, but also a celebrated trainer.
Győző Kulcsár was born on 18 October 1940 in Budapest. During WW2, he lived in Germany and Sweden with his family. He started fencing at the age of 15. He was part of the gold medal-winning Hungarian team épée during the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympic games. Individually, he earned gold in 1968 and later took two bronze medals as well. Aside from his many other triumphs internationally, Kulcsár is also a three-time world champion.
Despite having earned a degree in engineering in 1968, Kulcsár only worked in the profession for a short time. After retiring from the competitions ahead of the 1980 Olympics, he became the head coach of the Hungarian national fencing team. In 1986, he moved to Italy to work with Pro Vercelli. His trainees included Olympic gold medalist Maurizio Randazzo and silver medalist, Elisa Uga.
In 2001, he returned to Hungary and initially became the head coach of Budapest Honvéd’s fencing department. Ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games, he prepared the then-defending champion Tímea Nagy for her second Olympic title. He was the head coach of the Hungarian National épée team from 2006 to 2012. He achieved his last major international success with Emese Szász when she triumphed and was named the 2016 Olympic champion. His nephew and legendary fencer, Krisztián Kulcsár, is currently the president of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB).
Kulcsár with Emese Szász in Rio de Janeiro. Image: István Huszti/ Index.
Besides the number of merits and awards he already had to his name, Kulcsár was also elected to join the Association of Immortal Hungarian Athletes, a very illustrious company which consists of 21 sportsmen, in 2000. In 2004, he was elected among the sportsmen of the nation, while in 2010, he was awarded the Hungarian Order of Merit, Commander’s Cross.
As the Hungarian Olympic Committee told wire service MTI, Kulcsár passed away on Wednesday evening.