Hungarian Liliana Szilagyi Reveals Her Father Abused Her “Since I Was A Child”

Two-time Hungarian Olympian Liliana Szilagyi revealed that she was abused by her father from a young age all the way up until 2016, dropping a lengthy Instagram post on Wednesday.

Szilagyi, 25, says that her father, Zoltan Szilagyi, abused her physically, spiritually and sexually ever since she was a child, “constantly and unpredictably.”


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A post shared by Liliana🦂 (@lilianaszilagyi)

“I’m abused. After 25 years, I am ready to say the hardest words I’ve ever had (to),” Szilagyi wrote, translated from Hungarian. “After so much pain and struggle, I get up and no matter how much I know that (it’s) an extremely divisive topic I will talk about it because it is necessary.

“Namely, by a man from whom I should have received the greatest love and acceptance. My father (abused me). Physically. Spiritually. Sexually. Ever since I was a child. Constantly and unpredictably, if you were just in the mood to enjoy the exercise of your power over me. Be it corporal punishment, intimidation, deprivation of love and attention, or sexual abuse.”

Zoltan Szilagyi, 54, was a former Hungarian Olympic swimmer as well, competing at the 1998, 1992 and 2000 Olympics.

Szilagyi adds that her mother was also abused by Zoltan, and goes on to say that after the 2016 European Championships, she severed her relationship with him.

Szilagyi finishes up her post by saying “this is all my fight” right now, and that her and her mother are “healing with each other and supporting in everything.”

Szilagyi qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games at the age of 15, placing 34th in the women’s 100 butterfly, and continued to have immense success at a young age. She was the 2012 European Junior champion in the 200 fly, won a pair of silver medals in the 100 and 200 fly at the 2013 World Juniors, and then swept the fly events at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.

At those 2016 European Championships where she cut ties with Zoltan, she won the silver medal in the women’s 200 fly, and represented Hungary at her second Olympic Games two months later, placing 10th in the 200 fly and 13th in the 100 fly.


Zoltan Szilagyi, who currently works as a lawyer, issued a response to the claims against him on Thursday.

Szilagyi sent was an open letter to local press directed to Liliana, saying he does not want to defend himself in the press, because what she’s claimed “cannot be defended, because how can I prove that I have never beaten or abused you, your mother or your sister,” adding that he expects all to be cleared up in criminal proceedings.

He says he no longer financially supports either Liliana or her mother, and asks Liliana to no longer use his surname, “Szilagyi,” and instead use her mothers.

Zoltan is still coaching Liliana’s younger sister, Gerda Szilagyi, who is a top female backstroker in Hungary.

Hungarian Swimming Association (MUSZ) President Sandor Wladar immediately had the organization’s disciplinary committee and child protection committee launch an investigation into Liliana’s claims upon hearing the news.

Wladar said: “As I have stated several times since my election: there is no place for abuse in the swimming pool,” translated from Hungarian.

“We also want to investigate this matter as thoroughly as possible so that a responsible decision can be made in the end,” said Wladar. “My first reaction was shock, by the way, and the next was to reaffirm my determination: it is not enough to maintain a clean environment in the present of the sport, exploring the past can lead to cleansing. ”

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Ze Barnabe
2 years ago

Abusing your child is a heinous crime. As a parent, I can’t even imagine this… there’s no excuse!

Nonetheless, I have looked at these pictures several times. You are abused and you need a photoshoot to post it on Instagram? This really smells fishy to me. It’s just not right…

Maybe I’m just older and this is somehow acceptable in todays society and somehow this is the way to share to the world now…

Reply to  Ze Barnabe
2 years ago

Fishy is abusing your own child. It is entirely up to a victim if, when, and how they tell their story.

Zé Barnabe
Reply to  Chlorinetherapy
2 years ago

This will probably not be the last time we hear of this. We will see. And yes, it is a heinous crime, like I said in the beginning.

2 years ago

May justice be served, and may there be many watchful and protective eyes on Gerda in the meantime.

Corn Pop
2 years ago not swayed by a such stylised B&W pic .

Last edited 2 years ago by Corn Pop
Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Sent an open letter to the press to say he doesn’t want to defend himself in the press. As stupid as he is evil.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

He stated the claims were false. As I read it , he has initiated civil actions against Liliana , so that is where his actions are directed.

Tommy Schmitt
2 years ago

What a messed up world we live in 🙁

2 years ago

Heartbreaking story. Nothing but respect for the strength it takes to come forward and confront this trauma she experienced.

2 years ago

Father denies everything, says ‘it is not possible to defense against your words’, but goes to court and sues her for criminal charges. Furthermore he asks her not to use the surname Szilágyi anymore.
HSA president Sándor Wladár calls her brave and says that Lilu should be defended from her father since anything can happen. They start an investigation against the father-coach.
An important factor is that Lilu’s 18 year old Hungarian backstroke champion sister, Gerda is still with her father.

Sam B
Reply to  tkrisz
2 years ago

the key is motivation: she said she wants to help other victims. That’s it.
HIs: to clear his name. So he will say and do anything, there is no downside to continue lying and suing her
What’s at stake here is her mental stability and freedom from all this. If he drags it out, it will be harder

katie’s gator cap :)
2 years ago

parents who instead love their child, abuse them, are the lowest of life forms and don’t deserve anything

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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