Zsuzsa Csisztu (HUN)
Tribute courtesy of Erzsébet Büki

Photo used with the expressed permission of Sato Takeo of the OEFC Gymnastics Gallery

1983 International Japan Junior: 22nd AA, 3rd V
1983 Seindai competition: 6th V
1984 Junior Europeans 23rd AA, 6th V (tie)
1984 Druzhba: 48th AA
1985 GDR vs HUN: 9th AA
1985 Italy vs HUN: 2nd AA
1985 World Championships: 8th T
1986 Hungary vs Italy: 1st T, 3rd AA
1986 Chunichi Cup: 14th AA
1986 Romanian International: 18th AA
1987 Hungarian International: 2nd AA
1987 European Championships: 20th AA
1987 Hungary-France-Switzerland: 1st T, 2nd AA
1987 GDR-Hungary-Netherlands: 2nd T
1987 Hungary-Austria: 1st T, 3rd AA
1987 World Championships: 7th T
1987 Bregenz: 2nd AA, 1st BB
1987 Chunichi Cup: 8th AA
1988 Olympics: 8th T
1989 World Championships: 9th T
1990 Champions All: 2nd AA

Results courtesy of Erzsébet Büki and Gymn Forum.

Csisztu is perhaps the most well-known former gymnast in Hungary, surpassing even Henrietta Ónodi! Granted, her fame is not because of her gymnastics career, but rather because she is now famous TV sports announcer for a commercial television channel in Hungary. She also makes frequent appearances on various Hungarian TV shows. Csisztu was already a television star at age 8, when Norwegian Television made a portrait film about her as a young gymnast. The film, entitled "Zuzu" (Csisztu's nickname) was a huge success in Norway.

Csisztu's burgeoning young talent was noticed elsewhere as well. In 1984, the Hungarians were invited to train with the Romanian team at Deva. In a friendly dual meet, she beat many of those who formed the Romanian 1984 Olympic team shortly thereafter. "They wanted to keep me there in Deva," she recalled later.

Between 1985 and 1989, Csisztu's was a steady member of the Hungarian women's gymnastics team. Together with Beáta Storczer and Andrea Ladányi, she was considered one of Hungary's best gymnasts. Though perhaps not as strong individually as the latter two, she was a valuable team member because of her consistency. Csisztu also brought innovation to the Hungarian - and World - gymnastics scene. There is an element on beam which is named after her, it is a kind of a reverse planche, very impressive to watch! Csisztu also brought attention to herself by receiving many "Most beautiful gymnast" votes at the 1989 World Championships.

As for the many gymnasts, Csisztu's efforts worked towards the Olympics as the ultimate goal. Sadly, before the 1988 Olympics in Seoul she experienced some problems with her knee and barely made the team. Like many athletes though, she put the pain out of her mind in Seoul and delivered the performances that were expected of her.

While competing at the 1988 Olympics her mother sent in Csisztu's application to enroll in a course on sports reporting. Her mother thought that this suited her well as she'd always been a talkative child! Csisztu started her reporting career with small assignments for local Hungarian TV. In 1990 she moved to the USA to study International Communication and Media and compete NCAA for the University of Minnesota. Her move was facilitated by the presence of Gabor and Katalin Deli, former Hungarian coaches who, at the time, were coaching the women's program at the University of Minnesota. (As an aside, Hungarian star gymnast Henrietta Onodi had also planned to compete for the University of Minnesota following Barcelona, but changed her plans after a scandel rocked the women's gymnastics program).

While in the USA, Csisztu met and married an American. After she completed her studies, the couple moved to Budapest. She quickly got back into broadcasting and he worked as a computer expert. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last. They eventually divorced. (Incidentally, during her gymnastics career Csisztu's boyfriend was Csaba Fajkusz, a well known Hungarian male gymnast).

Starting in 1992, Csisztu was the expert commentator for all artistic and rhythmic gymnastics and figure skating competitions aired on Hungarian television. Her many assignments included covering both the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympic Games. Csisztu also covered other sports, one time even interviewing Magic Johnson for Hungarian news. This was a very active time for Csisztu. She also promoted Lady Speed Stick deodorant, provided commentary at the Hungarian Fitness Championships, and played a key role in the 1994 farewell gala for Henrietta Ónodi in 1994.

In 1998 she experienced some disputes with her television station and left for commercial station. Interestingly, the role of expert gymnastics commentator was taken over by Erika Csányi, another former gymnast. At the new station, Csisztu reads the sports news and hosts a weekly sports magazine. Until recently (beginning of 2000) she also hosted "Gól, gól, gól" a weekly summary of the Hungarian Football League.

In 2000 she married again, this time to a businessman. Theirs is a romantic story! They met in a shopping mall shortly before Christmas 1998. Her future husband recognized Csisztu from television and introduced himself to her. He explained that a few years prior, he had undergone a serious heart operation and was in no condition to leave his hospital room for quite awhile. The only contact he had with the outside world (the non-hospital world) was a small black and white television set. Apparently he was quite taken with Csisztu's television appearances, claiming that she attracted his attention like nothing he'd experienced before. She caused him to forget the pain and in doing so, her image helped him to recover. He relayed this study to Csisztu in the shopping mall. They became friends and in March 2000 they married. 

Csisztu was born on February 15, 1970.

. This page was created on April 18,2000 and last updated on December 29, 2000.

 

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