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Gábor Novák

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameGábor•Novák
Used nameGábor•Novák
Born14 August 1934 in Budapest (HUN)
Died5 August 2021
AffiliationsÉpítők SC, Budapest (HUN)
NOC Hungary

Biography

Gábor Novák’s brother was a keen rower and, while he also stayed on water, Gábor chose canoeing as his sport. He joined Bp. Épitők in 1949 and stayed with them until his retirement in 1963. Initially, he competed in C-2 until his partner was enlisted and he transferred to C-1. To his surprise Novák was successful as a youngster, and in 1951 made his début for the national team and the following year competed at the Helsinki Olympics. He came away from the Games as Hungary’s first ever canoeing medalist, having won silver in the C-1 10,000 metres.

Although Novák was the main contender for the same event at the Melbourne Olympics four years later, János Parti was nominated instead. At the time, it was thought Novák would end his competitive career, but in the spring of 1957, he got back on the water and won all three singles at the national championships, and in the same year won the European C-1 1,000 metres in Ghent, fainting after crossing the finishing line through exhaustion.

Novák continued until 1963, when he finished 11th in both C-2 10,000 metres at the World and European Championships in Jajce. He was not happy with the results and decided to end his competitive career. He obtained a coaching degree from the College of Physical Education in 1967, and between 1963 and 1969 was involved in the training of his former club. His best-known pupil in that period was the future Olympic champion István Vaskuti.

Novák had obtained a certificate as a skilled locksmith in 1952, and later trained as a programmer, which later became his profession until his eventual retirement.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1952 Summer Olympics Canoe Marathon (Canoeing) HUN Gábor Novák
Canadian Singles, 10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver

Special Notes