Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Swimming
Inducted: 1981
Country: Hungary
Born: April 3, 1927 in Budapest, Hungary
Died: February 29, 2020

Between 1940 and 1958, Eva Szekely set 10 World and five Olympic swimming records. She set an Olympic record in the 200-Meter Breaststroke (2:51.7) en route to a gold medal at the 1952 Helsinki Games and captured a silver medal in the same event at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. Szekely was fourth in the 200-Meter Breaststroke at the 1948 London Games.

Among her World records: 100-Meter Breaststroke (1:16.9) set May 1951; 400-Meter Individual Medley (5:50.4) set April 10, 1953; and 400-Meter Freestyle Relay (4:27.2) in 1952. She also earned 10 World University championships and 68 Hungarian national titles.

In the early 1940s, Szekely was expelled from her local team as a “religious undesirable” and, during 1944 and 1945, lived with her family in a Swiss-run safe house in Budapest.

Szekely turned to a successful career in coaching following her competitive days. One of her most successful protégés is her daughter Andrea, who won a silver medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics in the 100-Meter Backstroke and a bronze in the 100-Meter Butterfly—establishing a World record while taking first place
in her semifinal heat.

Eva Szekely was elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1976.


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