Leon Štukelj Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Early Life and Education
Leon Stukelj was born on 12th November 1898, in Novo Mesto, Austria-Hungary (present-day Slovenia). He studied law at school and graduated in 1927.
Whilst doing his studies, over the years, Stukelj was also an active member of the Slovenian Sokol athletic movement. It was an organization for all ages to enjoy athletics.
Leon Stukelj competed in his first major competition for gymnastics at the World Championships in 1922.
His first Olympic Games competition was 1924 in France. He represented Yugoslavia, and won gold in both the all-around and horizontal bar events.
Between 1922 and 1936, Leon Stukelj competed in three World Championships and three Olympic Games. At the World Championships, he won five gold, one silver, and two bronze medals. At the Olympic Games, he won three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals.
He retired in 1936, a much celebrated sports hero in his home country.
After retiring from competitive sport, he returned to his legal career, and became a judge. His judicial career began in Novo Mesto, then Lenart, and finally Maribor, which is where he spent his final years.
When the Communist regime took over Yugoslavia after World War II, Leon Stukelj was imprisoned due to his opposition of the regime. He was eventually released, but he was permanently banned from the judiciary and could no longer seek work as a judge. The best he could do was to become a legal assistant.
Awards and Honors
1997: Inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
2011: Inducted into the Slovenian Athletes Hall of Fame
Leon Stukelj married Lidiji, and they had two children.
He lived to be almost 101 years of age.
Leon Stukelj has a sports hall named after him in Novo Mesto, and the University of Maribor also has their sports hall named after him.