A starting winger for Hungary in the Olympics, Sebestyen played in all three of his country's game during the tournament. After an initial 7-0 loss to Great Britain, Hungary moved to the consolation round, where they defeated Germany, 3-1. Germany had two Jewish players, Julius Hirsch and Gottfried Fuchs. The Hungarians then played in the consolation final and defeated Austria to finish fifth overall in the tournament. Two of Sebestyen's teammates were Jewish stars, Gyula Biro and Antal Vago.
Considered one of the greatest wingers in Hungary's early soccer history, Sebestyen appeared in 24 international games for the National team between 1906-1912. According to Andrew Handler in From the Ghetto to the Games, Bela possessed "lightning speed, imaginative dribbling, and accurate passing...[he] terrorized the defense of opponents." Sebestyen also played for the club team MTK Budapest, and won the Hungarian League championship in 1908.
Birth and Death Dates:
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
From the Ghetto to the Games: Jewish Athletes in Hungary, by Andrew Handler (Boulder, Colorado: East European Monographs, 1985)