Csaba Elthes is a former coach of the US men's Olympic fencing team and an NYAC Hall of Fame inductee.
Elthes was born on March 10th, 1912 in Budapest, Hungary. Prior to moving to the US, Elthes was a talented fencer and an accomplished attorney in Hungary. However, Elthes was forced to uproot his life and flee to Yugoslavia in the wake of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. He spent eight months in an internment camp before immigrating to the United States.
By his own account, Elthes was given a warm welcome by the Hungarian community in New York, helping him to get settled and ultimately get a job in a factory. Several years after coming to the US, Elthes began his coaching career at St Peters University. He would go on to coach the US Olympic team at five Olympic Games (1964, 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1984).
Elthes coached a number of accomplished Olympic fencers throughout his career, including Peter Westbrook, 1984 bronze medalist in the individual sabre, and Anthony Keane, a fellow NYAC Hall of Fame inductee. Despite his imposing presence and rigorous training methods, Elthes inspired loyalty among his fencers. Peter Westbrook noted that Elthes worked him “like a dog,” but was nevertheless grateful for the coach who molded him into an Olympic bronze medalist.
Elthes passed away on November 8th, 1995 at the age of 83.