FOR THE RECORD: 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold; 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold; 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold; 2003 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold; 2003 FINA WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE: gold; 2004 FINA WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE: gold; 1999 FINA WATER POLO WORLD CUP: gold; 1997 EUROPEAN WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold; 1999 EUROPEAN WATER POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold; 2000 LEN WATER POLO EUROPEAN LEAGUE: gold.
Born in Budapest 1954, Denes Kemeny began playing water polo at the young age of six. For the next 21 years, he played for six teams making the Hungarian National Team from 1974 to 1986 and competing in over 17 international games for his country. But his competition days were only preparing him for what was to come. In a country where water polo is the national sport, Kemény would become one of Hungary’s most successful water polo coaches ever.
He graduated college in veterinary medicine, but later with a degree of water polo master trainer, he assumed the head coaching reigns of the National Team of Hungary; a country that had won an Olympic medal at all 12 Olympic Games from 1928 through 1980, but had not won an Olympic medal for the 20 year period from the1980 Moscow Olympics to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Kemeny changed all that! Within two short years as National Team Coach in 1978, his style, leadership and coaching ability returned Hungary to world prominence and water polo world dominance. Everything he touched turned to gold: the 2000 Olympic Sydney Olympic Games defeating Russia with the biggest goal margin in the history of Olympic finals; the 2004 Olympic Athens Games defeating Serbia & Montenegro coming back from a two goal deficit in the final period; and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games defeating a strong, surprise team from the USA.
This marks the first time a country has won three successive Olympic Games since Great Britain in 1908, 1912 and 1920. Kémeny-coached teams have won gold medals at World Championships, World League, World Cups, European Championships and the European League. Kemeny has the ability to take young players and turn them into great players.