According to the Olympics, Ágnes Keleti is considered the greatest gymnast from Hungary. She is a world champion, Holocaust survivor, and Olympic gold medalist and will be celebrating her 103rd birthday this coming week. Keleti was born into a Jewish family in Budapest on January 9, 1921. Her interest in gymnastics began before World War II, and by the time she was 16, she had become the Hungarian National Champion in gymnastics.
As her career was taking off, it was abruptly put on hold during World War II when she was expelled from her gymnastics club for being Jewish. Keleti’s father was murdered in Auschwitz. She and the rest of her family were ultimately saved by the known Holocaust hero, Raoul Wallenberg.
Following the war, Keleti resumed her gymnastics career, and in 1946, she won her first Hungarian championship on the uneven parallel bars. She went on to become the world champion in the same category in 1954. Keleti has won 10 Olympic medals, 5 of which were gold. In 1957, she moved to Israel and competed in the Maccabiah Games the same year. Today, she lives in Budapest and remains the world’s oldest living Olympic champion.