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Aladar Gerevich. Olympic Saga.

Born on March 16, 1910 in the village Yasberen. Champion of the Olympic Games of 1948 in saber fencing in individual competitions, Champion of the Games of 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956 and 1960 as a member of the national Hungarian team. World Champion of 1951 and 1955 in individual competitions and of 1937, 1951, 12953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958 in the team championship.

Aladar Gerevich is called a legend of Hungarian fencing. He was a unique athlete, who participated in six Olympics, where he has won nine awards, seven of them were gold!

In those years Hungarian sabers were the strongest ones in the world, so his choice to go into fencing was not accidental, and later fencing became for Aladar Gerevich the key point throughout his life. For thirty years he was worthy vindicating the honor of the national team, due to his support the Hungarian sabers were keeping the world leadership until the 60-s of the XX-th century.

Gerevich has won his first Olympic medal in the team competition, when he was 22 years old. It happened in 1932 at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. At the same Olympics, his future wife Erna Bogen was the third in the individual competitions of epee fencers. At the next Olympics in 1936 in Berlin Gerevich performed in two categories, saber and epee. In individual competitions of sabers he won a bronze medal, and in the team tournament he obtained gold. It was Aladar who steered his team to first place at that Olympics, having won 17 out of 19 bouts, and in epee fencers' competitions the Hungarian team took the 7-th place among 18 teams.

The World War II intervened in Aladar Gerevich's career, forcing him, like many other great athletes, to forget the sports for a while. However, after the war, he comes back to the fencing strip and participates in the national team of Hungary at the Olympic Games of 1948 in London. At the age of 38 Aladar stays in a good competition shape. He is unbeatable among other sabers worldwide: he has won two golden medals in individual and team championship! Herewith, he beats a kind of a record, having lost just one bout during Olympic tournament.
In 1951, at the invitation of the Federation of Fencing, Gerevich arrives to Moscow as a member of Hungarian national team to participate in joint training sessions. What a great opportunity to the young Soviet fencers, who had no such international experience as the Honored Hungarian athletes! After each training session in "Stroitel" gym, located in the centre of Moscow at Tsvetnoy Boulevard, joint theoretical courses were arranged. Hungarian fencers willingly shared their experience, and Aladar Gerevich was the most active among them.

At the Olympics of 1952 in Helsinki the Hungarian sabers have once again proven that they are the strongest in the world, having won all available medals. In individual competitions Pal Ovach was the first, Aladar Gerevich - the second, Ibor Bertselli the third, having also taken the gold in the team tournament.
Four years later in Melbourne Aladar again brings the Hungarian national saber team to the fencing strip and becomes the Champion of the Games for the sixth time, taking also the high 5-th place in individual tournament!

In the 1960 Olympic year Aladar Gerevich is fifty years old. Who of us is not scared of this age? For many people this is a milestone, beyond which the way is opened to diseases, when it’s time to assess one’s results. In this regard, Gerevich's behavior is a sense-therapy for pessimists. One can find an idea in every fencing guide, that fencing is as an athletic type of sports, which demands as the strong will, as  high speed, endurance and strength. It is extremely difficult, practically impossible to win the Olympic Games in sabre fencing, when you are fifty. But he has done it! In 1960, in Rome he has won his seventh Olympic medal in the team tournament, having confirmed the statement of the famous French philosopher Michel de Montaigne: “Fencing .is the only type of exercise where the spirit gets trained”.

Aladar has never been involved in professional coaching, but every day after work he would visit the salle to train the kids, his son Pal among them. Both of his sons kept up the family tradition. Pal Gerevich, the World Champion in sabre fencing, has won two Olympic silver awards, and Dyerd Gerevich is a well-known coach, who has brought up many Olympic winners.

Up to these days the fencing tournament in honor of the famous Hungarian sabers Aladar Gerevich, Pal Ovach and Rudolph Karpati, who have won 19 Olympic golden medals to for the country, is annually held in Budapest.

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