Ervin Zádor

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameErvin•Zádor
Used nameErvin•Zádor
Born7 June 1935 in Budapest (HUN)
Died28 April 2012 in Linden, California (USA)
AffiliationsVasas Sport Club Hajógyár SK
NOC Hungary


Ervin Zádor played water polo for Hungary, helping them win a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics. He played in the famous Hungary-Soviet Union match that year, played shortly after the Soviet Union had invaded Hungary, and in which the water ran red with blood from the various assault during the match. The most famous picture of the match is of Zádor standing outside the pool, with blood running down his face from a cut under his eye.

Zádor became a coach in Hungary, coaching the Ripon Aquatic and Ripon Sea Lions team, and the Ripon Aquatics Centre is named in his honor. In later life Zádor emigrated to the United States where he became a swimming and water polo coach in California, and where he briefly coached Mark Spitz. In 2006 a documentary, “Freedom’s Fury,” was made about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, ending with a focus on the Hungary-Soviet water polo match, which followed Zádor and his contribution to the Hungarian effort.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Water Polo (Aquatics) HUN Ervin Zádor
Water Polo, Men (Olympic) Hungary 1 Gold

Special Notes