Szilveszter Csollany dead at 51: Anti-vax Olympic rings champ dies from Covid after agreeing to have jab to keep working
AN Olympic gold medallist and vaccine sceptic has died from Covid aged 51 - just weeks after agreeing to get jabbed to keep his coaching job.
Hungarian Szilveszter Csollany, a gymnastic rings hero, took the vaccine shortly before he became ill, so had not built up enough antibodies for full protection.
Csollany had shared 'anti-vax' posts on his Facebook page and once joked on Instagram he had vaccinated himself with 'vodka'.
And in his final post, last August, he claimed pro-vaccine information was 'nonsense' - although he insisted he was neither for or against the jab.
The British Government say vaccinated people who get Covid are up to eight times more likely to not need hospital help than the unvaccinated.
And the UK Health Security Agency rate the booster vaccine as 88 per cent likely to prevent Covid victims ending up in hospital.
But despite Hungary enduring a spike in Covid, mainly through the Omicron variant, Csollany held out against taking it.
Budapest newspaper Blikk say he finally relented after regulations means he needed one to continue coaching overseas.
His doctor reportedly said the Sydney 2000 champ had the Dutch Janssen COVID-19 vaccine - which needs just one dose.
But he soon contracted Covid and was so ill in November that he was put in hospital and on a ventilator for weeks.
And on Monday the Hungarian Olympic Committee announced: "It is with profound sadness that we inform you of the death of Szilveszter Csollany."
The Hungarian Gymnastics Federation paid its own tribute, saying: "The Olympic champion gymnast achieved outstanding results not only as an athlete, but also an excellent husband and a very good father."
Csollany was world champion in 2002, having earlier won five silvers, firstly in 1992.
The 1998 European gold winner peaked his career with the top gong at the 2000 Olympics, four years after claiming silver at the Atlanta Games.
Csollany stirred controversy with a video in his last Facebook post five months ago.
Apparently speaking to a medical professional on the phone, he wrote: "I just want to understand! I'm not against or in favour of vaccine.... really don't know what's good... and this video shows exactly why I don't know.
"The information they give is nonsense. If they can explain it logically, then everyone will surprise themselves a long time ago."
In recent years he was a coach in Iceland and Austria.