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Ferenc Csík

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameFerenc•Csík (Lengvári-)
Used nameFerenc•Csík
Born12 December 1913 in Kaposvár (HUN)
Died29 March 1945 in Sopron (HUN)
AffiliationsBEAC, Budapest (HUN)
NOC Hungary


Ferenc Csík, a medical student from Budapest, was the surprise winner of 100 freestyle at the 1936 Olympics. Although reigning European 100 free champion, Csík was not considered among the favorites to win the title at the Olympics, those roles going to world record holder American Peter Fick and strong Japanese swimmers Masanori Yusa, Shigeo Arai and Masaharu Taguchi. At the Olympic final, as the favorites battled each other, Csík came through in the outside lane to finish ahead of three Japanese swimmers, while Fick finished a disappointing sixth. Csík also win bronze in the 4x200 free relay at the 1936 Olympics.

Growing up on the shores of Lake Balaton, Csík became acquainted with swimming at an early age, but took up competitive swimming seriously only after enrolling at Budapest’s Pázmány Péter University (later Eötvös Loránd University) to study medicine. Csik was the youngest of three brothers, whose father was killed during the first months of the World War I. Coached by István Bárány and József Vértesy, Csík became the top Hungarian freestyle swimmer in the 1930s. He first competed internationally at the 1933 World University Games, where he won 100 freestyle silver and 50 free bronze. The next year, Csík won the 100 free and 4x200 free relay at the 1934 European Championships. In 1935, Csík won the 100 free, 4x200 free relay, and medley relay at the World University Games and after his Olympic triumph, Csík last competed internationally at the 1937 World University Games, winning the 100 free, 200 breast, 4x200 free relay, and medley relay.

Domestically Csík was a 19-time Hungarian champion – 1933-38 in 100 freestyle; 1934-36 in 200 freestyle; 1935-36 in 100 breaststroke; 1935 in 200 breaststroke; 1937 in 300 IM; 1934-37 and 1939 in 4x200 freestyle relay; and 1937 in the medley relay. He was also part of three Hungarian 4x100 m freestyle relay teams that set world records, clocking 4:10.2 in June 1937, 4:06.6 in August 1937 and 4:02.0 in July 1938.

Csík graduated from the Pázmány Péter University in 1937 with an MD degree and retired from international competition, concentrating on his work at the Pázmány Péter University and MÁV Betegbiztosító clinics in Budapest, but he continued to compete domestically, winning his final medals at the Hungarian championships in 1942. In 1943, Csík taught anatomy at the Budapest University of Physical Education and also worked as an editor of the Hungarian medical journal Orvosi Közlemények. In October 1944, Csík was mobilized to the Army, serving as an Army medic in Szolnok, Keszthely, and Sopron. Just a month before the end of World War II, Sergeant Ferenc Csík was killed in an air raid in Sopron, while treating the wounded. He was inducted into International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1983.

Personal Bests: 100 m freestyle – 57.0 (1936); 200 m freestyle – 2:13.4 (1936).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) HUN Ferenc Csík
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Hungary 3 Bronze
100 metres Backstroke, Men (Olympic) DNS
200 metres Breaststroke, Men (Olympic) DNS

Special Notes