Ervin Zádor pictured with Lucy Liu.
From the Hungarian Revolution to Linden, California
Ervin Zádor founded the San Joaquin Rifle and Pistol Range in 1979 after purchasing this property from the County of San Joaquin. He made this his home, his business, and even his school to teach swim to budding athletes.
Ervin was a member of the Hungarian National Water Polo Team and competed in the 1956 Olympic Games where he earned a gold medal. At this time, the Soviet Union had just invaded his home country when he faced them in the famed, "Blood in the Water" water polo game a few weeks later. A Soviet player struck Ervin, causing a large cut over his eye, and he was pulled from the water. This image became one of the most iconic moments in this sport. Director Quentin Tarantino and actress Lucy Liu were instrumental in the documentary, "Freedom's Fury," detailing this moment.
Ervin went on to coach swimming and water polo at area schools, and even coached swimmer Mark Spitz to a gold medal in the 1972 Olympics. Ervin passed away in 2012, and his legacy lives on through his youngest daughter, Christine, who continues to operate/develop the range today.
Watch "Freedom's Fury" on YouTube below: