Pal Schmitt, Hungarian Olympian turned tainted president

A member of Hungarian gold-medal epee teams at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, Pal Schmitt entered politics as secretary general of the Hungarian Olympic Committee in the 1980sA double Olympic gold medal winner who became president of Hungary, Pal Schmitt reached the pinnacles of sport and politics only to be toppled by a grubby plagiarism scandal. A member of Hungarian gold-medal epee teams at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics, Schmitt entered politics as secretary general of the Hungarian Olympic Committee in the 1980s, at the tail-end of four decades of communism. Sport was never an end onto itself for Schmitt whose parents demanded “good results at school” and “insisted on learning music and foreign languages”, he told AFP in his office in downtown Budapest.

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