Blood in the Water match

As blood play or bloodbath of Melbourne, water polo match between Hungary and the Soviet Union at the Olympic Summer Games in Melbourne in 1956 to the well -known match in the sport's history and one of the most famous and unsportlichsten meeting of two teams became known at the Olympic Games. Both sides met on December 6, 1956, when the Hungarian national uprising had just been brutally crushed by Soviet troops. The name of the game was invented by the media. He was referring to the Hungarians Ervin Zádor, where a Soviet athletes had done two minutes before the end of the game with a punch in the face a heavily bleeding wound. Hungary beat the Soviet Union 4-0. The victory of the Hungarian team became a symbol of resistance against the Soviet Union.


On 23 October 1956 escalated a small approved solidarity rally Budapest students to an uprising against the Soviet occupation. Some days it seemed, when the Hungarians could free from the influence of the Soviets. As of November 1 rolled a Soviet tanks in Hungary and between the 4th and 10th of November, the revolution was put down with massive use of weapons.

During this time, the Hungarian water polo team was in training camp above Budapest. The crew could see the turmoil in the capital at least acoustically. The team defending the Games of Helsinki, was taken in view of the forthcoming Games in Melbourne out of the country in the CSSR. The players learned only in Australia from the events in the home. Concern for family and friends accompanied the athletes. When starting the game the brutality in the home country grew more and more, many players now saw the opportunity to represent at the sporting level, independence and pride of their country.

Ervin Zádor confirmed this in statements like " We did not play for us, but for our entire country ." At this time, the international community also experienced the brutality of Soviet troops, which take precedence over against the Hungarian population. The Hungarian team was subsequently fired by the previously neutral visitors to the Games. There were also many exile Hungary among the spectators, who had been the Hungarian boxer Laszlo Papp watched a few days earlier when winning his third gold medal.

The first four games had gained significantly Hungary, each with four to five -goal margin and was considered almost certain Olympic champion.

The game

The Press tailor the game in the preliminary reporting little importance, however, appeared to match astounding 5,500 spectators, including many exiled Hungarians and Hungarian -born Australians. The mood was cooking before the start against the team of the USSR high. The strategy of Hungary was to offend the Russians, whose language they learned in school or had to learn. In the words of Zádor: "We decided to make the Russians angry and take them by confusion ".

From the start, the game was very physically marked. Kicks and blows were dealt on both sides, the Hungarian captain Dezso Gyarmati injured his Russian opponent with an uppercut. Meanwhile achieved Ervin Zádor two goals and the audience cheered enthusiastically with the Hungarians " Hajrá Magyarok it" in German as " forward Hungary ".

Towards the end of the game - Hungary led 4-0 - insulted Ervin Zádor Valentin Prokopov. As Ervin Zádor looked away for a moment, struck him, the Russian fist in the face. Zádor that it was a gash close to the right eye, then left the pool and brought now with his bleeding sight of the audience finally against the Russians. Many spectators jumped then to the pool border and threatened the Russians themselves. To avoid further unrest, the game was stopped a minute before end of the game and the police began to remove the angry spectators. Pictures of Zádors injuries were shown to the world press, and led to the description of the game as a " blood - in -water game". Reports that the water is colored red, are considered to be exaggerated. Zádor later said his only thought at that moment was the next game.

The Hungarians were declared the winner of the game, as the team resulted in termination of the game. After the final victory over Yugoslavia ( 2-1 ) you also won the Olympic tournament and secured the fourth gold medal.


2006 was the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian national uprising, the documentary Freedom's Fury in the cinemas. Produced by Lucy Liu and Quentin Tarantino film tells the story of the game. Mark Spitz, who was trained as a teenager by Ervin Zádor, is the narrator.

Also in 2006 appeared the Hungarian feature film Children of Glory, to the Hungarian- American screenwriter Joe Eszterhas wrote the script.