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2019 News Water Polo

Hungary mourns water polo legend Antal Bolvari

One of the last living members of a legendary generation of Hungarian water polo has passed away. Antal Bolvari, at the age of 86, died after long illness in Budapest on 8 January.

He was a key member of Hungary’s Olympic winning teams in 1952 and 1956, played in the sport’s probably most famous match, known as the ‘Blood-bath of Melbourne’, between the mighty Magyars and the Soviet Union, staged just weeks after the 1956 freedom fight in Hungary was repressed by the Soviets. After the Games in Melbourne he remained in Australia for five years before returning home.

Antal Bolvari was also European champion in 1954 and earned medals at the World University Games both as a water polo player and as a swimmer. He later coached Hungary’s junior teams and was assistant coach of the national team in the early 80s.

With Antal Bolvari’s passing, three-time Olympic champion Gyorgy Karpati remains the only living Hungarian water polo great from the 50s.