Ilona Elek-Schacherer

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameIlona•Elek-Schacherer (-Hepp)
Used nameIlona•Elek-Schacherer
Other namesSchacherer Károlyné
Born17 May 1907 in Budapest, Budapest (HUN)
Died24 July 1988 in Budapest, Budapest (HUN)
AffiliationsDetektív AC, Budapest (HUN) / MNDSZ Atalante SE, (HUN) / BVSC, Budapest (HUN)
NOC Hungary
Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 3


Ilona Elek-Schacherer originally wanted to be a pianist and graduated from the College of Music but gave it up for the sake of fencing. Between 1927-56, she won six individual gold medals at the Hungarian championship and won three team titles. In her long sporting career, she represented BBTE, UTE, DAC, KASE, MNDSZ Atalante SE, Csepel, Bp. Vasutas, and then Bp. Honvéd.

Between 1929-56 Elek-Schacherer earned 63 international caps. In 1933, she was the European champion both in individual and the team in Budapest. She won European titles in 1934 and 1935. Elek became the first Hungarian women’s Olympic gold medalist when she won the 1936 Olympic individual foil title and defended that title after World War II at London in 1948, then added a silver at Helsinki in 1952. At the World Championships, Elek-Schacherer won 18 medals, with 11 gold medals, including three individual foil golds in 1934-35 and 1951.

Her sister Margit was also a fencing Olympian, was a five-time team world champion, and worked as the federal captain of the women’s national team in the early 1960s. In 1968, Sport Kiadó published the memoirs of the Elek sisters entitled This is How We Fought.

Before World War II, Ilona Elek was an employee of IBUSZ travel company and worked as a tour guide. After 1945, she worked as a deputy director at the Watch and Jewelry Trading Company. But she was not completely separated from music, as she was the composer of many dance songs, and the song for the 1959 World Fencing Championships in Budapest.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Fencing HUN Ilona Elek-Schacherer
Foil, Individual, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
1948 Summer Olympics Fencing HUN Ilona Elek
Foil, Individual, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
1952 Summer Olympics Fencing HUN Ilona Elek
Foil, Individual, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver

Olympic family relations

Special Notes