Members Spotlight - Katica and Gabor Deli

Katica and Gábor Deli - A Hungarian Success Story in Minnesota

The story of our couple started in Hungary in the 60's. At that time both of them were attending, a Physical Education College in Hungary.  Their first meeting was at a gymnastics show, followed soon after by a wedding.
When Katica was carrying their first child, they decided to leave Hungary and move to the US. At that time Gábor had been a member of the Hungarian Gymanstic Team for 10 years and also the photographer of the Dózsa soccer team of Újpest. He was quite successful as a photographer and had also won the Silver Javelin sports photographer prize in 1970. Photography is still a passion for him.
The journey to Minneapolis was by way of an adventurous journey through Yugoslavia and Italy. It was clear where they were to go in the US as Katica had two uncles and an aunt already living in Minnesota. They were subsequently followed by her parents as well.

Katica: We had not even gotten ourselves a decent apartment; even having to live separately for a while after we were first married. When I found out I was pregnant, we decided to leave the country.
Gábor: We got to Italy through Yugoslavia, where we received political refugee status. A few days before the expected date of birth of our, son, we were called and told that we could proceed to America from Rome. When we were approaching New York, the flight circled the Statue of Liberty. So that was how we arrived in the USA at the end of November 1971.
Katica: Although they didn't want me to go to Minnesota because they were afraid that our son would be born, but I really wanted to get there, so we went. Our son waited and was born here in Minnesota.

After they arrived both of them received employment as coaches. Katica become the coach of the university fencing team, but after one year she returned to gymnastics and founded the Minnesota University's gymnastic team. Gábor assisted Katica a lot because of his love of gymnastics.
In 1978 they founded their own gymnastic school, the Olympic Gymnastics Academy. In the following years Katica and Gábor contributed a great deal to help popularize gymnastics in Minnesota and in the US.
Their first international success was in 1977 in London with Robin Huebner, who reached the women's 'All Champions' Championship 3rd place in the overall standings. Many of their students were quite successful over the years. There was a time when their school had 600-800 students enrolled during the year. Even though they closed the school in 2011, their relationship with the sport hasn't ended. Katica still teaches at a school, and they keep in touch with fond old students who often bring their children to Katica to learn gymnastic. Not so long ago, they were both awarded the Master of Sports from the US gymnastics federation, the most prestigious American sport award in gymnastics. Minnesota has a total of three such award winners. They have also maintained very good relations with members of the gymnastics world in Hungary as well.
Katica keeps the cultural ties to her homeland by cooking Hungarian dishes. Their two sons speak Hungarian, and another cultural icon in their home is their white puli.