Former Olympic gymnastics champion dies of Covid

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Former Olympic gymnastics champion Szilveszter Csollany has died at the age of 51 after spending weeks hospitalised with COVID-19, Hungarian sports officials said.

The Hungarian Olympic Committee and the country’s gymnastics federation issued a joint statement confirming the death of Csollany, who won a gold medal in the men’s rings competition at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

He also won silver in 1996 in Atlanta and a world championship gold in 2002.

He was a six-time medalist at the European gymnastics championships, and the recipient of Hungary’s “Sportsman of the Year” award in 2000 and 2002.

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Csollany had been hospitalised with COVID-19 since early December, and spent several weeks on a ventilator.

The 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, while fellow gymnast Zoltan Magyar, a Hungarian Olympic champion in 1976 and 1980, lamented “a huge loss, at such a young age.”