Karolyi, Bela

Portrait
Born: Sep 13, 1942 AD
Currently alive, at 71 years of age.

Nationality: Romanian
Categories: Coach


1942 - Bela Karolyi, born on the 13th of September in Cluj, Romania. He is a world-renowned Romanian gymnastics coach of Hungarian ethnicity. He posseses Romanian and American citizenship. He has become the most successful coach in the history of gymnastics. His coaching efforts have produced 28 Olympians, nine Olympic Champions, 15 World Champions, 12 European medalists and six U.S. National Champions in 30 years of coaching gymnastics in both his native Romania and the United States.

1981 - He and his wife, Martha, defected to the United States during an exhibition tour.

1982 - He was approached by a group of businessmen with an offer to coach at a private gym in Houston. When the group faced financial difficulties in October, he convinced them to sell the gym to him.

1991 - He led the U.S. team to a silver medal finish at the World Championships, the first team medal the U.S. women had ever won in World Championships competition.

1992 - He led the charge to the Olympic Games in Barcelona, where the United States captured its first medal in eight years.

       - Announced his retirement from elite level coaching, but still maintained his gym and summer camp.

1994 - Zmeskal asked him to assist in her comeback attempt for the Olympic Games in two years time. He could not refuse, announcing his return to the elite coaching ranks. That same year he co-authored his life story in a book titled Feel No Fear.

1996 - Coached Dominique Moceanu and Kerri Strug, who went on the win the team gold medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

       - Strug won the McDonald's American Cup, earning him his 11th champion in the prestigious event.

1997 - He was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

2001 - The National Team Coordinator position was handed over to his wife, Marta.

Page last updated: 7:25pm, 03rd May '07
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