Olympic champion, 51, dies from Covid-19 after anti-vax posts

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Szilveszter Csollany, pictured here with Dimosthenis Tampakos and Iordan Iovtchev at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Szilveszter Csollany with Dimosthenis Tampakos (L) and Iordan Iovtchev (R) at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. (Image: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport)

Szilveszter Csollany, the Hungarian gymnast who won gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, has died from Covid-19.

Local authorities announced the devastating news on Monday after the 51-year-old was hospitalised in December.

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He reportedly spent weeks on a ventilator before his death.

Csollany had shared a number of anti-vax posts on Facebook before he contracted the virus.

According to newspaper Blikk, he had recently been vaccinated in order to continue working as a gymnastics coach.

However the publication reported that Csollany's vaccination had only come a short time before he fell ill, meaning he hadn't developed a sufficient level of antibodies.

"It is with profound sadness that we inform you of the death of Szilveszter Csollany," the Hungarian Olympic Committee said.

Szilveszter Csollany, pictured here in action on the rings at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Szilveszter Csollany in action on the rings at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. (Image: Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport)

Olympics community mourns death of Szilveszter Csollány

Csollany won silver on the rings at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 before going one better in Sydney four years later.

He claimed the gold medal after seeing off Greece's Dimosthenis Tampakos and Yordan Yovchev of Bulgaria.

European champion in 1998, he also won gold at the 2002 World Championships in Debrecen.

After retiring, Csollany went on to work as a coach in both Iceland and Austria.

"Farewell champion", wrote Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in a message accompanied by a black and white photo.

Fellow gymnast Zoltan Magyar, a Hungarian Olympic champion in 1976 and 1980, lamented "a huge loss, at such a young age".

with AFP

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