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Agnes Keleti
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Gymnast
    (January 9, 1921- )
    Born in Budapest, Hungary
    Born Agnes Klein
    Hungarian-Israeli artistic gymnast
    Competed at Summer Olympics of 1952 (1-1-2) and 1956 (4-2-0)
    All-Around Hungarian Championships winner (1947-1956)
    1981 International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inductee
    2002 International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee
    There is an acute accent over that capital A.
    During the Holocaust, she posed as a Christian maid in the Hungarian countryside — by purchasing the papers of a Christian girl.
    She hastily married another Hungarian gymnast to avoid Auschwitz, where some of her own relations perished.
    T hough she qualified for the 1948 Olympics, she had to withdraw due to injury.
    As with so many other Jews of the era, Raoul Wallenberg was instrumental in escorting her – and eventually her recaptured mother and sister – to safety.
    She was 35 years old at the time of her Melbourne run, about double the age of the average gymnast in the new millennium.
    At her only World Artistic Gymnastics Championships (Rome, 1954), she achieved one medal of each color (the silver being for the team).
    Having refused to return home following the Hungarian uprising (1956), she would defect to Israel the following year and coach their national gymnastics team.
    Among Jewish Olympians, she became the most decorated female; only one male athlete would have a higher medal count.
    She could still do a split into her 90s.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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