1940 and 1958, Eva Szekely set 10 World and five Olympic
records. She set an Olympic record in
the 200-Meter Breaststroke (2:51.7) en
route to a gold medal at the 1952
Helsinki Games and captured a silver medal in the same event
at the Melbourne
Olympics in 1956. Szekely was
fourth in the 200-Meter Breaststroke at
the 1948 London Games.
Among her World records: 100-Meter Breaststroke
(1:16.9) set May
1951; 400-Meter Individual Medley
(5:50.4) set April 10, 1953; and 400-Meter Freestyle Relay
(4:27.2) in 1952.
She also earned 10 World University
championships and 68 Hungarian national
In the early 1940s, Szekely was expelled
from her local team as a “religious
undesirable” and, during 1944
and 1945, lived with her family in a
Swiss-run safe house in Budapest.
Szekely turned to a successful
in coaching following her competitive
days. One of her most successful
protégés is her daughter
Andrea, who won a silver medal at
the 1972 Munich Olympics in the 100-Meter Backstroke and
a bronze in the
100-Meter Butterfly—establishing a
World record while taking first place
in her semifinal heat.
Eva Szekely was elected to the International Swimming
Hall of Fame in