Agnes Keleti

  • Hungary

At the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, the 36-year-old Keleti won four gold and two silver medals. While in Australia for the Games, Keleti defected to the West.

She has lived in Israel since 1957, and has served as a physical education instructor and coach for the Israeli gymnastics team.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Agnes Keleti remains an Olympic icon for her courage and athletic endurance. Keleti began gymnastics in her native Budapest in 1936, but was forced to stop training when the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944. Her father and other relatives died in Auschwitz; Keleti escaped a similar fate by buying false documents from a Christian girl that allowed her to flee Budapest.

After the war, Keleti returned to gymnastics and began her ascent to glory. Although a late injury prevented her from competing at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, she was still awarded a silver medal for having been a member of the silver medal-winning Hungarian team. At the 1952 Olympics, Keleti won the gold medal in floor exercise; at the 1954 World Championships, she won two gold medals. At the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, the 36-year-old Keleti won four gold and two silver medals. While in Australia for the Games, Keleti defected to the West. She has lived in Israel since 1957, and has served as a physical education instructor and coach for the Israeli gymnastics team. Now aged 81, Keleti remains full of energy and is still able to turn cartwheels.

1948 OLYMPIC GAMES

  • Silver Medalist:
    • Team

1952 OLYMPIC GAMES

  • Gold Medalist & Olympic Champion:
    • Floor Exercise
  • Silver Medalist:
    • Team
  • Bronze Medalist:
    • Uneven Bars

1954 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Gold Medalist & Olympic Champion:
    • Uneven Bars
  • Silver Medalist
    • Team
  • Bronze Medalist
    • Balance Beam

1956 OLYMPIC GAMES

  • Gold Medalist & Olympic Champion:
    • Balance Beam
    • Uneven Bars
    • Floor Exercise (T)
  • Silver Medalist
    • All-Around
    • Team

2002 INTERNATIONAL GYMNASTICS HALL OF FAME

  • Inducted as a member of the Class of 2002

Induction Speech Video