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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Pal Szekeres - The only person to win medals in both Olympics and Paralympics.

An accident was not enough to stop him from pursuing his passion for fencing and winning accolade after accolade

Pal Szekeres(source- Paralympic.org)
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Pal Szekeres(source- Paralympic.org)

By

C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 2021-08-20T16:23:11+05:30

We have all heard of multiple medal winners across sports at the Olympics. There have been Olympians such as Michael Phelps and Simon Biles who have more medals than certain countries as well. However, there is one man who has the distinct record of being the only medal winner in both the Paralympics and the Olympics. Pal Szekeres, a former Hungarian fencer holds this distinct record for his feat in fencing.

Pal first won a bronze medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. He took part in the foil team event in fencing and won Bronze along with the Hungarian fencing team. He was still only 24 at that time and had a long way in his fencing career. However, an unfortunate accident in 1991 resulted in him suffering from certain disabilities that also put him on a wheelchair. At that time, the Paralympics were already quite big, and the next event was expected to take place in 1992 at Barcelona. Not wasting even, a moment to take up Paralympic fencing training, Pal practiced for less than a year and finally competed at Barcelona in the individual foil event at the Paralympic Games. He went on to win gold in his very first fencing even on a wheelchair.

This began a continuous trend of him winning medals at the Atlanta Paralympic games (Gold in foil individual and sabre individual) and bronze at the Athens, Sydney, and Beijing Paralympics. Pal Szekeres is Hungary's most successful Paralympian and has also won medals at the World Championships and European Championships. His record might stay on for a long time to come given the nature of the sport and how he managed to make a phenomenal recovery to achieve such sporting greatness.


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