Kornél Pajor

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameKornél•Pajor
Used nameKornél•Pajor
Born1 July 1923 in Budapest (HUN)
Died12 May 2016 in Täby (SWE)
AffiliationsBKE, Budapest (HUN)
NOC Hungary


Kornél Pajor is the first (and through 2016, only) speed skater to win a world title for Hungary. He did so in 1949, winning the allround title by excelling in the long distances. That championship was also the last time Pajor represented Hungary: he defected from the then communist state, eventually settling in Sweden. Pajor did continue to skate, though, and in 1951 won a bronze in the World Championships as an independent athlete. From 1952 on, he represented his new home country, Sweden. For Sweden, he won a bronze in the 1952 Europeans, adding to the one he had won in 1949. His nationality change meant he couldn’t compete in the 1952 Olympics; Pajor had earlier competed in the 1948 St. Moritz Games, with a 4th place in the weather affected 10,000 m as his best performance. In 1949, on the high altitude rink of Davos, Pajor bettered the world record in the 5,000 m, lowering it by 0,2 of a second to 8:13.5. En route to his world title, he also bettered the 10,000 m world record, but it was bettered later in the same event, and is thus not officially recognized as a world record. Pajor, a five time national allround champion in Hungary, worked as an architect in a suburb of Stockholm following his retirement from sports in 1954.

Personal Bests: 500 – 44.3 (1952); 1500 – 2:16.5 (1952); 5000 – 8:13.5 (1949); 10000 – 16:58.7 (1949).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) HUN Kornél Pajor
500 metres, Men (Olympic) =21
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 14
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 10
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 4

Special Notes