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Penny Vilagos

Full name: Penelope "Penny" Vilagos (-Brown)
Gender: Female
Height: 5-4.5 (165 cm)
Weight: 112 lbs (51 kg)
Born: April 17, 1963 in Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Affiliations: CAMO Natation, Montréal (CAN)
Country: CAN Canada
Sport: Synchronized Swimming

Related Olympians: Twin sister of Vicky Vilagos.

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)

Biography

As elementary students, Penny Vilagos and her twin sister Vicky claim that they were always chosen last for any sport. Things changed when they were only eight years old, however, when they discovered synchronized swimming. By the age of twelve they had joined CAMO Natation, one of Montreal’s premiere swimming clubs, and they earned their first junior national titles in 1977: Penny won the solo event, Vicky captured the figures crown, and together they were victorious in the duet. They reversed this feat in 1978: in addition to winning the duet, Vicky captured the solo event and Penny was victorious in the figures. They earned their first senior title in the duet in 1980, with taking silver (Vicky) and bronze (Penny) in the solo event, in addition to Vicky’s bronze in the figures. They defended the duet crown in 1981, as well as coming in second (Vicky) and third (Penny) in the solo event, but were defeated in the duet in 1982 by Kelly Kryczka and Sharon Hambrook. At that completion, Vicky and Penny were third and fourth respectively in the figures and the solo event. They abandoned the solo discipline in 1983 to focus on the duet and took back the title at that year’s Canadian Championships, which made them Canada’s representatives in the discipline at the 1983 Pan American Games. There they won silver behind Americans Tracie Ruiz-Conforto and Candy Costie, in addition to gold in the team event. Nonetheless, the Vilagos twins were defeated in the Olympic trials by Hambrook and Kryczka, who went on to earn silver in the duet at the 1984 Summer Games.

The sisters disappeared from the public eye after retiring from active competition in the mid-1980s, but came back in a big way in 1992 when, after less than two years of training, they qualified to represent Canada at that year’s Summer Olympics. There they came in second to the American twins Karen and Sarah Josephson and were eliminated in the opening round of the solo event. After winning the silver medal, they returned to retirement the following year and Penny took up a career in business and motivational speaking. The duo was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1992 Summer 29 Barcelona Synchronized Swimming Women's Solo Canada CAN AC r1/3 DNQ
1992 Summer 29 Barcelona Synchronized Swimming Women's Duet Canada CAN 2 Silver

Women's Solo

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank PTS
1992 Summer 29 Barcelona Synchronized Swimming Canada Figures 6 89.534

Women's Duet

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit Rank PTS
1992 Summer 29 Barcelona Synchronized Swimming Canada CAN Vicky Vilagos Final 2
1992 Summer 29 Barcelona Synchronized Swimming Canada CAN Vicky Vilagos Qualifying 2 QU
1992 Summer 29 Barcelona Synchronized Swimming Canada CAN Vicky Vilagos Figures 2 QU 89.534
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