Attila Tákacs competed in gymnastics for Hungary at the 1956 Olympics. Like so many Hungarian Olympians, he then defected in response to the recent Soviet crushing of the Hungarian October Revolution. He sent his fiancée, Magda, a letter through a teammate, urging her to escape and join him in the United States, which she did. They settled near Los Angeles, where Tákacs (who changed the name spelling to Takach in the US) studied electrical engineering at Southern Cal. He then worked in the aerospace industry until the mid-1970s when he moved to the Silicon Valley region, where he worked on the development of recording materials such as laser discs. Takach climbed the Matterhorn in 1974.