Just in time for Christmas, 33 members of the Hungarian Olympic squad and four Rumanians who appealed to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED last month for help in coming to the U.S. (SI, Dec. 17) touched down on American soil. The group, which included the world-famous distance runner L�szl� T�b�ri and L�szl� Nadori, chief of staff of the Hungarian Sports Ministry, got heart-warming welcomes—beginning with the U.S. Government, which simplified immigration red tape in their behalf, and Pan American Airways, which put an airplane at their disposal. Unlike generations of freedom-seeking Europeans who crossed the Atlantic to the New World, the athletes got their first view of the New World in Honolulu. In San Francisco a day later they celebrated Christmas, and one girl, Swimmer Szusza Ordogh (see below), was welcomed to a new life in a West Coast home, while the others flew on to New York for more receptions before, in most cases, starting on tours for Hungarian relief or renewing training in their specialties with a view to taking part in the U.S. winter sports season. In the U.S. their sponsors include SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, the National Catholic Welfare Council and First Aid for Hungary, Inc.
In Honolulu onetime U.S. Olympic hero Bob Mathias bends attentive ear to questions of Water Poloist Arpad Domjan and 20-year-old Kato Szoke.
In San Francisco Hungarians descend from Pan Am plane to be welcomed (below) by Governor Goodie Knight (left) and Mayor George Christopher (center).
Famed runner L�szl� T�b�ri (left) and Coach Mihaly Igloi enjoy Christmas in a San Francisco home.
First Glimpse of Manhattan through bus window fascinates group arriving from Idlewild Airport.
U.S. OLYMPIANS NANCY RAMEY (LEFT) AND NANCY SIMONS (RIGHT) GREET 16-YEAR-OLD SZUSZA ORDOGH, WHO WILL LIVE WITH THE RAMEYS IN SEATTLE
HAPPINESS—AND HARD WORK
With their flight from Melbourne behind them, the Iron Curtain athletes relaxed for the holidays, but not for long. For some, freedom meant reunion with loved ones already here. For all it meant an opportunity to work for the benefit of those less fortunate. In a series of exhibitions that will take the team through much of the U.S., the Olympians will raise money to send back home. This week they will be in Miami; after that the aquatic specialists will go one way and fencers and gymnasts another, while Tabori gets ready for indoor track meets in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee and Cleveland.
WORLD CHAMPION FENCER LIDIA DOMOLKY REGISTERS JOYOUS SURPRISE AT FINDING REFUGEE BROTHER GEORGE ALREADY SAFE IN AMERICA
ERVIN ZADOR EMBRACES BROTHER ZOLTAN IN REUNION AT AIRPORT