Keleti was removed from her gymnastics club in Hungary for being Jewish in 1941. The International Olympic Committee said in a web post telling her amazing story. She worked as a maid by using a fake identity while her family was forced into hiding. Her father and some of her family members were among the 550,000 Hungarian Jews killed at Auschwitz and other camps.
Keleti began competing in gymnastics again after surviving the Holocaust. She won her first Central European Gymnastics Championship in 1947.
She continued to compete at the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952 and then in Melbourne in 1956. She remained in Australia after the Melbourne games. She received political asylum when the Soviet Union invaded Hungary.
Later, she moved to Israel’s country and became the coach for the country’s women’s gymnastics team. According to the International Olympic Committee, Keleti was added to the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2002, being Hungary’s most-decorated female Olympian ever.
“The Queen of Gymnastics: 100 Years of Agnes Keleti,” a book about her life, was released this year to mark her milestone birthday. Yet, Keleti told the Associated Press that being called the queen of gymnastics is just an exaggeration.
Keleti spoke with the Associated Press about her full life at a celebration for her birthday. “These 100 years felt to me like 60,” she said.
“I love life; health is the essence. Without it, there is nothing.”
According to AP reports, Keleti doesn’t do full splits anymore, as per the doctor’s recent advice. And yet, there will always be a constant in Keleti’s life: the smile on her face.
“I live well, and it’s great that I am healthy, And I love life.”