Selmeci, Gyurta, Becsey, and Halmay Named to Hungarian Swimming Hall of Fame


By Nicole Miller on SwimSwam

Attila Selmeci, János Becsey, Daniel Gyurta, and Zoltán Halmay became the newest members of the Hungarian Swimming Hall of Fame after an induction ceremony on November 25. 

All four swimmers were honored during the ceremony, which was attended by the likes of Zsolt Gyulay, the president of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, and LEN President Antonio Silva. 

Selmeci is best known as the longtime coach of Hungarian Olympic Champion Kristof Milak. The pair worked together for over 8 years, with Selmeci coaching Milak to shatter Michael Phelps’ 200 butterfly world record at the 2019  World Championships. At that competition, Milak swam a time of 1:50.73, which chopped a second off of Phelps’ previous record of 1:51.51. After Milak’s performances at the Tokyo Olympic Games, where he won gold in the 200 butterfly and silver in the 100 butterfly, the pair announced their split, with Milak announcing Balázs Virth as his new coach. Despite this, Selmeci still led Milak to plenty of success throughout their partnership and he received an honorable mention for European Coach of the Year during the 2019 Swammy Awards for his successes. 

Becsey is a two-time Paralympic gold medalist, competing in the S7, SB7, SM7, and C8 classes. He participated in 6 different editions of the Paralympic Games, ranging from the 1998 Games in Seoul, South Korea‎ to the 2008 Games in Beijing, China. In 1992, he won double gold by claiming the top spot in both the S7 50 Freestyle and the S7 100 Freestyle. At those Olympics, he also won bronze in the SB7 100 Breaststroke, adding to two bronze medals he won in the C8 200 IM in 1988 and the SM7 200 IM in 2000. Becsey suffers from  cerebral palsy  on his right side that was caused by a stroke when he was an infant. According to the CDC, cerebral palsy can cause a range of symptoms, including stiff muscles, uncontrollable movements, and poor balance and coordination.

Gyurta is a multi-time LC World Champion and Olympic medalist who competed in the breaststroke events. In 2012, he claimed Olympic gold in the 200 breaststroke, adding to the silver medal that he won in the same event back in 2004. His time of 2.07.28 at the London 2012 Olympic Games stood as a new world record in the event until it was broken by Japan’s Akihiro Yamaguchi about a month after the conclusion of the Games. From 2009 to 2013, Gyurta won three consecutive gold medals in the 200 breaststroke at the LC World Championships, making him one of only a handful of swimmers to ever win three consecutive titles. Throughout his career, Gyurta was named the Hungarian Swimmer of the Year a total of 5 times, claiming the award in 2004, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Notably, following his Olympic victory in the 200 breaststroke in 2012, Gyurta offered a replica of his medal to the family of Alexander Dale Oen, who passed away months before the Games. For his offer, Gyurta was awarded the prestigious Fair Play Award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 

 Halmay was recognized as a posthumous induction into the Hall of Fame for his swimming career in the early 1900s during which he won multiple Olympic medals. Competing at the 1900, 1904, 1906, and 1908 Olympic Games representing the Kingdom of Hungary, Halmay won a total of 9 Olympic medals, including three golds. His first two gold medals were won in 1904, when he claimed the titles in both the 50 yard and 100 yard freestyle. He added to that with another gold medal in 1906 in the 4x250m freestyle relay. Throughout his career, he held various world records in the 50, 100, and 220 m freestyle events. He also won Olympic medals at distances ranging from 50 yards all the way up to 4000 meters. After his retirement from swimming, Halmay worked as the federal chief trainer of the Hungarian Swimming Association, continuing his involvement in the sport. He died on May 20, 1956 in Budapest, Hungary. 


SwimSwam: Selmeci, Gyurta, Becsey, and Halmay Named to Hungarian Swimming Hall of Fame

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