Katalin Szabó was born in 1968 to ethnic Hungarian parents and her mother tongue is Hungarian. She had to change her given name to Ecaterina, because the Romanian government wished to obscure her Hungarian background. Also her year of birth is often seen as 1967, due to Romanian authorities changing her birthdate to allow her to compete in senior competition. She started gymnastics in 1973 and won an all-around gold medal in the European Junior Championships in 1980, and when she defended her title in 1982 she became the first gymnast to do so.
Her first international medals on senior level came one year later in 1983 when Szabo won gold on floor, silver on uneven bars, vault, and with the team as well as a bronze in all-around at the World Championships in Budapest after winning four medals, including two gold (floor and uneven bars), at the 1983 European Championships held in Goteborg. At the 1984 Olympics, where Romania was the only country to compete from Eastern Bloc, she was the most successful Olympian, winning four golds and one silver medal. At the 1985 World Championships she won another three silver medals and in 1987 she won her second gold at World Championships with the team and a bronze in beam, bringing her total medals at the Worlds up to 10 (2-6-2).
After her retirement in 1987 Szabo finished her study of physical and sports education and also worked as a coach – one of her pupils was Maria Olaru. In 1991 she married the former Romanian kayaker Christian Tamas and they moved to France one year later where Szabo again worked as coach. The couple has two boys and in 2000 she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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