Helena Rakoczy

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Helena Rakoczy
Helena Rakoczy 1950.jpg
Rakoczy in 1950
Personal information
Country represented Poland
Born (1921-12-23)23 December 1921
Died 2 September 2014(2014-09-02) (aged 92)
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics

Helena Rakoczy (née Krzynówek), also Rákóczy or Rákóczi (23 December 1921 – 2 September 2014) was a world champion Polish gymnast. She was born in Kraków, Poland.

A member of the 1952 and 1956 Polish women's gymnastics team, she managed only one Olympic medal, in Melbourne, a bronze in the Team Portable Apparatus Event, tying with the USSR team. Disappointing performances at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, particularly on the uneven bars, kept her well out of the higher-finishing individuals in the all-around (she was 43rd), failed to qualify her to any of the event finals competitions, and saw her team place 8th. Stronger performances at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics garnered her an 8th-place finish in the all-around, a 5th place on uneven bars, and saw her team to a much-improved 4th place all around with her compatriate, two-time Olympian (1956, 1960) Natalia Kot.

Her real successes came at the World Gymnastics Championships in 1950 and 1954. At the former, she became the World Individual All-Around Champion, as well as becoming champion on 3 of the 4 individual apparatuses (Vault, Beam, and Floor), and at the latter, she took bronze in both the individual all-around and uneven bars. These accomplishments make her the most decorated Polish gymnast – male or female – ever.

Rakoczy was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2004.


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