During a national holiday presentation a week ago, Hungarian Olympic gold medalist Krisztina Egerszegi was presented with Hungary’s top national honor as she became a member of the Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen.
Hungarian president Janos Ader presented the honor to Egerszegi along with a high profile economist Sandor Lamfalussy. The honor is an extension of a previous award created by Queen Maria Theresa in 1764 that had a much more complicated structure that included several levels of involvement similar to Masonic orders.
Egerszegi is easily one of the top swimmers ever out of the country of Hungary, which has produced a surprising amount of Olympic hardware in its history. She owns five Olympic gold medals, a silver and a bronze. Meanwhile, she also won a pair of world titles as well as a silver in world championship action.
Egerszegi, who became the youngest-ever female Olympic champion at 14 (41 days) with a win in the 200 back at the 1988 Olympics, held that distinction until Japan’s Kyoko Iwasaki trumped her with a younger 14 (6 days) when she captured the 200-meter breaststroke title in 1992.
In 2001, she earned enshrinement into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and also is a three time winner of Swimming World’s World Swimmer of the Year (1991, 1992, 1995).