Nikolett Krausz (HUN)
Tribute by Erzsébet Büki and Jennifer Isbister

Krausz performs at the 1996 American Cup. Photo used with the expressed permission of Gymn Forum

1993 Junior European Championships:  9th AA, 4th V
1999 International Japan Junior Invitational: 12th AA, 5th FX
1994 Junior European Championships: 8th AA, 2nd V, 7th FX
1995 World Championships: 9th T, 25th AA
1996 American Cup: 12th AA
1996 European Championships: 6th T, 12th AA
1996 Worlds: 26th BB (prelims), 41st FX (prelims)
1996 Olympics: 9th T
1997 World Championships: 10th T

Results compiled from information found at Gymn Forum

After Henrietta Onodi's initial retirement in 1992 (Onodi made a brief comeback in 1996 to help the Hungarian team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics), Nikolett Krausz became Hungary's top prospect. Although still only a junior, she was dynamic and powerful, with routines of outstanding difficulty on all four events.

Young "Kicsi" (the nickname translates to "little" in English) performed pretty well at her first major international competition, placing in the top 10 AA at the 1993 Junior European Championships. The following year, she improved on her performance to finish 8th AA (counting a fall from beam) at the 1994 Junior European Championships. But, it was during the event finals that Krausz drew attention to herself: She finished 2nd in vault finals, behind Romanian Ana Maria Bican. The difference in scores was negligible, and Krausz was quite hard on herself for not performing her vaults with better execution.

In 1995, Krausz and her teammates placed 9th at the World Championships, thus qualifying a full team to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It is worth noting that the team qualified a berth to Atlanta without Onodi's help. Competiting in one of her first senior meets, Krausz' performance was encouraging - she placed 25th AA, not bad for a 14-year-old (teammate Adrienn Varga, who also debued at this competition, did not qualify to the AA).

In Atlanta, the Hungarians pegged their hopes on Krausz, particularly for a berth in an event final. Unfortunately, Krausz' performance in Atlanta was not her best. During team finals, even with Henrietta Onodi back on the team, Krausz was Hungary's lead gymnast going into the final event...but then she suffered three falls on the balance beam. Despite this disaster, Krausz qualified to the AA, where she finished 32nd.

Looking back on Krausz' career, it was this balance beam performance that was the turning point. The falls shocked her and she never put the routine past her. After the Olympics, the Hungarian National Team coach evaluated each team member's performance. Speaking of Krausz, she said, "Now everything is overshadowed by this beam routine, but I hope she can get over it. We hope that she will soon qualify in an event final at a big competition."

Unfortunately, Krausz never did get over her disastrous balance beam performance. She competed in the 1997 Worlds in Lausanne, but no longer in the position of team leader - she was overshadowed by Adrienn Varga, who placed 4th on vault and whose career blossomed from then on. Krausz was frustrated with her performances in Lausanne. She started to gain weight, and her coaches recognized her need for a rest. They gave her a six month break.

Sadly, after the six month break, Krausz could not get back into shape. In 1998 she made the decision to quit gymnastics. In a subsequent interview she spoke about the reasons, namely that she was longing for more of a social life. In particular, she wanted to spend more time with her boyfriend, a football (soccer) player. Looking back at the result of the Hungarian Team in Tianjin (at the 1999 World Championships they finished 21st as a team, failing to qualify a full team to Sydney) it seems so much more regrettable that Krausz' career was cut short.

Update! (February 2005). Krausz is now the mother of a 2-year-old boy. Her passion for gymnastics has not waned, and in late 2004 she returned to competitive training. She hopes to compete for Hungary at the 2005 European Championships, which are being held in Debrecen, Hungary!

. This page was created on January 25, 2000 and last updated February 2005.


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