Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pál Schmitt

Pál Schmitt (Schmitt Pál, born 13 May 1942) is a Hungarian politician who has been President of Hungary since 2010.

Schmitt was a successful fencer in his youth, winning two gold medals at the Summer Olympics. Later, he served as an ambassador during the 1990s, and he was a Vice President of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2010. After briefly serving as Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary in 2010, Schmitt was elected as President of Hungary in a 263 to 59 vote in the Parliament of Hungary; he was sworn in as President on 6 August 2010.

In addition to his native Hungarian, Pál Schmitt speaks German, French and English.

Sporting career
Schmitt started a successful fencing career in 1955 competing for MTK-VM. After winning two Hungarian Championship titles in individual competitions he participated as part of the Hungarian National Fencing Team 130 times between 1965 and 1977. He won the team épée gold medal at the 1968 and 1972 Summer Olympics. Also won team and individual World Championships in fencing, and collected several second and third place finishes until his active career ended in 1977. He later became the Chief of Protocol of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and presided over the World Olympians Association between 1999 and 2007.

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