Henrietta Onodi

  • Hungary

While competing in the late 1980s and early '90s, when the sport was dominated by the Soviet Union, Romania, China and the U.S., Onodi still managed to lift Hungary onto the medal podium.

Unique perhaps best describes Henrietta Onodi. While competing in the late 1980s and early '90s, when the sport was dominated by the Soviet Union, Romania, China and the U.S., Onodi still managed to lift Hungary onto the medal podium.

The slightly built "Henni" became a fan favorite for both her bold difficulty and clever originality. She often added an interesting twist or pose to embellish her routines, which worked to great effect...

Born May 22, 1974, in Békéscsaba, Onodi always captivated crowds with her dynamic style of gymnastics. Coached by Mihaly and Julia Unyatyinszki, the slightly built "Henni" became a fan favorite for both her bold difficulty and clever originality. She often added an interesting twist or pose to embellish her routines, which worked to great effect in setting her apart — and often above — her competitors.

After placing fifth on balance beam at the 1989 Stuttgart World Championships, Onodi won the silver medal on vault at the 1991 Worlds in Indianapolis. She was just getting warmed up, however, and really came into her own in 1992. At the inaugural Individual Apparatus World Championships in Paris, she won the gold medal on vault and the silver on floor exercise. Later that year, at the Barcelona Olympics, Onodi tied for the gold on vault and won another silver on floor exercise.

Onodi retired after the Barcelona Games and moved to the U.S. to pursue a college education — she studied marketing at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas — but later returned to competitive gymnastics. At age 22, Onodi helped Hungary to a ninth-place finish at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Onodi retired for good after the 1997 University Games, and finished her marketing degree in 2001. She landed a job in Miami, Fla., as Director of Community Relations for the World Olympians Association (WOA). Today, Onodi and her husband run Olympic Health Chiropractic in Jacksonville, Fla.

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