Olympic Champion and Holocaust Survivor Turns 100

Stand for Israel  |  January 11, 2021

Agnes Keleti, Olympic champion and Holocaust survivor
Agnes Keleti, Olympic champion and Holocaust survivor

The Holocaust claimed six million Jewish lives, many of them people at the top of their fields, be it science or Scripture or sports. One athlete who survived the Holocaust – and who went on to Olympic glory – featured as one of our Israelis You Should Know. And now, our friends at Israel Hayom report that Agnes Keleti, winner of 10 Olympic medals and survivor of the darkest chapter in Jewish history, has turned 100:

For Agnes Keleti, the oldest living Olympic champion, the fondest memory of her remarkable 100 years is simply that she has lived through it all.

The Holocaust survivor and winner of 10 Olympic medals in gymnastics – including five golds – celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday in her native Budapest, punctuating a life of achievement, adventure, tragedy and perseverance which, she says, passed by in a flash.

“These 100 years felt to me like 60,” she said at a celebration in Budapest on the eve of her birthday.

Leafing through a copy of a new book about her life – “The Queen of Gymnastics: 100 Years of Agnes Keleti” – her trademark modesty was on full display.

“‘The queen of gymnastics,'” she said, switching to English. And in Hungarian: “That’s an exaggeration…”