Krisztina Egerszegi Biography
Won First Olympic Golds, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Retired From Swimming, Further Information
Hungarian swimmer Krisztina Egerszegi is the youngest to ever win a gold medal in the Olympic Games. She won this medal at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, in the 200 meter backstroke. Egerszegi won the gold in the same event in two subsequent Olympics, marking only the second time an athlete won golds in three consecutive games in the same event. She is also the only woman to win five gold medals in individual swimming events. Egerszegi was an expert in the backstroke, dominating women's events from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s.
Egerszegi was born August 16, 1974, in Budapest, Hungary. She began swimming at the age of four. Her first coach was Miklos Kiss, who taught children to swim, in addition to his primary occupation as an engineer at a factory. Kiss noticed early on that she had talent, especially in the backstroke. He brought her talent to the attention of Laszlo Kiss (no relation)—the head coach of the Budapest Swim Club and trainer of the Hungarian women's team—when she was five. Laszlo Kiss sent Egerszegi to another top notch coach, Gyorgy Thury, to be trained when she was six.
In 1986, Laszlo Kiss himself began training Egerszegi. Though she was taught in all four swimming strokes (freestyle, breast, butterfly, and backstroke), she had the ideal physique for the backstroke. Laszlo Kiss refined her abundant natural ability and already solid technique. Egerszegi proved easy to train, and appreciated his tutelage.
Sketch by A. Petruso
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