Hungarian gymnast in the Hall of Fame

May 21, 2012

Two times Olympic champion Zoltán Magyar has been inducted - as the first Hungarian male gymnast - into the International Gymnastics Hall pf Fame (IGHOF). The ceremony took place this past week-end in Oklahoma City in the United States.

According to INGHOF, gymnastics has seen few innovators as accomplished as Zoltán Magyar, who reigned over—and reinvented—a single event from 1973-80. When gymnastics enthusiasts hear the name Magyar, they immediately think of pommel horse.

Born Dec. 13, 1953, in Budapest, Hungary, Magyar began gymnastics at age 12. Coached by László Vigh, he became the most dominant pommel horse gymnast of his time. Having long arms that enabled him to swing high above the horse, Magyar was the first to travel the horse longitudinally, an element named after him as ’Magyar Travel’.

Another exercise bearing his name is the Magyar Spindle, is still quite rare. Originally performed on the end of the horse, the skill involves the legs circling one way as the body rotates in the opposite direction. He also developed a travel that hopped from the pommels to the end of the horse.

Magyar's expertise on pommel horse brought him two Olympic, three World, two World Cup and three European titles. It also earned him Hungarian Sportsman of the Year awards in 1974, '78 and '79.

Zoltán Magyar retired from the sport as an athlete after the 1980 Olympics – his third consecutive Games – and began practicing veterinary medicine in Budapest. Currently, he is the Hungarian Gymnastics Federation.

He is the third Hungarian to receive the IGHOF recognition after two women, Ágnes Keleti and Henrietta Ónodi.


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