Magyar Posta is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the birth of the three-time Olympic, European and World champion water polo player, Tibor Benedek, who was the coach of the Hungarian men’s water polo team between 2013 and 2016, by issuing a special stamp.
The new issue, designed by the graphic artist Orsolya Kara based on photographs by Márk Viszlay and József Szaka, was produced by ANY Security Printing Company, and will be available at first day post offices and Filaposta in Hungary and may also be ordered from Magyar Posta’s online store from 12 October 2022.
Tibor Benedek (1972-2020) began playing water polo at the KSI Central School of Sport. Between 1989 and 1996, he played for Újpest, winning the LEN Euro Cup, Supercup and European Cup. In 1996 he went to Italy, enjoying success first with Roma and then Pro Recco. He returned to Hungary in 2004, before re-signing with Pro Recco in 2007, where he won the Champions League and Euroleague. He won both the Hungarian and the Italian championships six times. He was the Youth European champion (1989) and the bronze medallist in the Junior World and European Championships. For a long time, his finger flick goal technique, the envy of so many, was unrivalled.
He played in the Hungarian team at five Olympics. In 1992 he was the top goal scorer and he won three gold medals, in 2000, 2004 and 2008. He was world champion in 2003, and at the World Championships he won two silver medals (1998 and 2005) and one bronze (1991). He was a European champion in 1997 and won two silver and three bronze medals in the continental competition. He was a World Cup and twice World League winner. He was capped 437 times. From 2013 to 2016 he coached the Hungarian men’s water polo team. Under his guidance, Hungary won the World Championship in 2013, came second in the European Championship in 2014 and fifth at the 2016 Olympics. In 2016 he was elected to the Governing Board of the Hungarian Water Polo Federation. From 2017, he was the professional director of UVSE Water Polo Sport Club, and acted as head coach from the 2018/19 season. He was elected the best Hungarian water polo player of the year on four occasions.
In 2000, he was included in the Hungarian water polo team of the century and, in 2013, he was chosen the best Hungarian national team coach of the year. In 2000, he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic, followed by the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic in 2004 and, in 2008, he received the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic. In 2008, he was granted the freedom of the city of Budapest. In 2015, he was inducted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and, in 2016, he impressed his handprint on the Wall of Hungarian Sports Stars. In May 2020, he announced that he was retiring from his water polo activities.
He was the father of three children. (Source: sport.mandiner.hu) The design of the stamp features a portrait of Tibor Benedek, and the first day cover shows him about to throw. The motif of the special postmark is his legendary left arm with a wrist band clutching a water polo ball.