Even though the Olympics are over, I’m still seeing posts about Olympic athletes (both past and present) pop up in my Facebook newsfeed. The other day, I came across an amazing video about an Olympian and I had to share her story with you!
Today’s leading lady is: Agnes Keleti!
Agnes Keleti was born January 9, 1921 in Hungary to a Jewish family. Agnes started gymnastics when she was four years old and became the Hungarian National Champion in gymnastics at 16. Everyone believed Agnes would be represent Hungary in the 1940 Olympics, however the Nazi regime had other plans.
Because of the abhorrent treatment of the Jewish people, Agnes and her family were forced into hiding. Agnes made it through the war by purchasing Christian identification papers and working as a maid in a small Hungarian village. Her mother and sister also survived, however her father died in Auschwitz.
After the war was over, Agnes almost immediately went back to training. Sadly, an injury caused Agnes to have to sit out at the 1948 Olympics. However, she made a comeback in 1952—at the “ripe old gymnastics age” of 31—and won her first gold medal in Floor Exercises! Agnes went on to win ten Olympic medals as well as the All-Around Hungarian championships ten times! She is the most decorated female Jewish Olympian of all time! A political upset in Hungary caused Agnes to defect to Israel, where she went on to coach the Israeli gymnastics team for nearly two decades. Though she is retired, Agnes still works on her gymnastic skills every day!
Now THAT’S talent! Way to be, Agnes!