by Ian Marshall, Editor
Andras Fejes became involved in para sports during his rehabilitation in Austria after suffering an accident when 17 years old; later a qualified as a clinical psychologist, he secured his first medal, bronze, in a wheelchair competition in 1972 in Heidelberg, Germany.
In para table tennis, he competed at the highest level. He was twice world champion, five times European champion; his country’s first Paralympic medallist, he became a major figure in the Hungarian Paralympic movement.
Andrew Parsons, the President of the International Paralympic Committee and a regular visitor to the table tennis events at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, paid tribute.
“Dr András Fejes was a true friend of the Paralympic movement and a talisman for the Hungarian National Paralympic Committee. As a two-time world champion and five-time European champion in para table tennis, he has certainly left his mark on the world of Para sport and a lasting moment in the NPC’s history having been their first Paralympic Games medal winner.
Outside of the sporting world, his absence will also be keenly felt given his work to push our collective understanding of the psychological difficulties that persons with impairment face. His work and commitment to Para sport was a true testament to determination, passion and courage.” Andrew Parsons
Notably Andras Fejes played a key role in the foundation of the Oliver Halassy Sports Club for impaired athletes; the only association then where people with disabilities could play sports. In his professional life he focused on identifying and reducing the complex psychological difficulties of people with disabilities and the challenge of their social integration.
Furthermore, he was also involved in sports diplomacy and was a member of the Board of the International Federation of Persons with Physical Disability (FIMITIC) for 10 years.
Dedicated, Andras Fejes received several awards for his efforts in sport, scientific and public works. In Hungary in 2018, he received the Grand Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit, one of the country’s highest state awards.