Károly Takács: A Man Of Focus, Commitment And Sheer Fucking Will.


Károly Takács might not be a name you're familiar with, but the Hungarian is a legend within his own country after winning successive shooting gold medals at the 1948 and 52 Olympics, but relatively unknown outside its borders.

His story has to be one of the most inspirational of all Olympians.

Takács shooting in Poland-Hungary-Yugoslavia competition in Bydgoszcz in 1961

His Olympic journey started when he was in the Hungarian army. Takács was the top pistol shooter in the world and preparing for the 1940 Games which were due to be held in Tokyo.

But disaster struck when a grenade exploded in his right hand during an army training exercise and blew it off. It was his shooting hand and many thought his career would be over.

Not Takács though - behind closed doors he relentlessly trained himself to shoot left-handed before turning up at the Hungarian National Pistol Shooting Championships in early 1939.

Other shooters approached him to offer their condolences, believing he had only come along to watch, but Takács not only competed, he won.

The intervention of World War II meant the 1940 and 44 Games were cancelled, but he did qualify for the first post-War Olympics in 1948.

Takács was 38 when he arrived in London and walked away with gold. He repeated the feat four years later in Helsinki to cap a truly remarkable sporting career. Takács also attended the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, but finished eighth and failed to win a third medal.


Although most associated with the rapid fire pistol, Takács also won a bronze medal at the 1958 ISSF World Shooting Championships in 25 metre centre-fire pistol. He also won 35 Hungarian national shooting championships.


There's a moral in this story somewhere...


Something about 'if your shooting hand is blown up, start blasting with your other one'. Or 'don't give up'

 






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