FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, July 9. THE current generation of breaststrokers owe a debt of thanks to Jozsef Nagy, the Hungarian coach who turned the stroke on its ear in the 1980s and invented an entirely new way of swimming that is viewed as the norm today.
Nagy developed the wave breaststroke in his native Hungary in response to the new rule in the 1980s allowing the head to go completely underwater during the stroke. The breaststroke events never looked back. Nagy brought the stroke to the United States and made Mike Barrowman, Sergio Lopez and others big stars, culminating in Olympic medals.
Nagy still coaches breaststroke, now a revered coach in Canada. Last month in Fort Lauderdale, Nagy was inducted into the Swimming Hall of Fame, and we are happy to bring you his moving speech and highlight video. Both videos are courtesy the International Swimming Hall of Fame.