Vilmos Rácz

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameVilmos György•Rácz (Tóth-)
Used nameVilmos•Rácz
Born31 March 1889 in Budapest, Budapest (HUN)
Died18 July 1976 in Sydney, New South Wales (AUS)
Measurements182 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsBEAC, Budapest (HUN)
NOC Hungary


After graduating from high school Vilmos Rácz began to compete in athletics in 1907 when he became a short-distance runner of BEAC. A year later, he participated in the 1908 London Olympics and was a member of the Olympic relay team that won the bronze medal, although he did not run in the final, only in the semi-final. In 1910 he became the Hungarian champion in the 100 yards, and he set national records at two other distances, with 22.8 seconds in the 220 yards and 33.0 seconds in the 300 yards. In 1912 he took part in the Stockholm Olympics where he finished in 4th place with the 4 × 100 meter relay team. After that, however, he was removed from the Hungarian national team. In parallel with his sports career, he was a student at the Faculty of Law of the Royal Hungarian University of Budapest, obtaining his doctorate in 1913. Although he was no longer a member of the top team, he continued to compete in the BEAC until 1918.

In addition to athletics, Rácz favored sledding and bobsledding among the winter sports. At the 1910 Hungarian championship, he took 2nd place in both the 3500-meter two-person bobsleigh race and the 2000-meter individual skeleton race. Later on he considered bobsled racing to be his passion and advertised for the 1924 Winter Olympics, looking for enterprising sportsmen. The entry went through, but the trip did not take place, probably for financial reasons.

Rácz got a taste of journalism as early as 1909 when he became the editor of the sports section of the University Newspapers. He did this work until 1918, but in the meantime he was co-editor of Theater and Fashion from 1916 (until 1922). In addition to the latter paper, in 1919 he edited the newspaper Színház for a short time. In November 1919 he took over the management of the Madách Theater. Between 1921–1924, he performed the editorial duties of Sporthírlap, between 1924–1930 of Nemzeti Sport, and between 1929–1932 of Nők Újságja. For a decade and a half, from 1929 to 1944, Rácz was primarily the editor-in-chief of Pénzügyi Hírlap, but at the same time he contributed to the editing of several smaller papers. In addition to his journalistic activities, he was a member of the Democratic Party, and from 1925 to 1944 he participated in the work of the legislative authority committee of Budapest.

After 1947 Rácz’s life became economically and politically impossible, as his newspapers, companies and his villa in Buda were taken away. In October 1955, he left the country with his family and found refuge in New Zealand.

Personal Bests: 100 – 10.9 (1910); 200 - 22.6 (1909).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics HUN Vilmos Rácz
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 h15 r1/3
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 h4 r1/3
1,600 metres Medley Relay, Men (Olympic) Hungary 3
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics HUN Vilmos Rácz
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 6 h1 r2/3
200 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Hungary 2 h2 r2/3