Virgilijus Alekna made a bid to extend his Olympic discus domination in 2008, but fell short and settled for a bronze medal in Beijing. At age 37 he remained competitive in 2009, finishing fourth in the World Championships, then winning the World Athletic Final for the fourth time.
Alekna edged 1996 champ Lars Reidel to win the 2000 Olympic gold. Alekna gained the 2004 gold in Athens after apparent winner Robert Fazekas was disqualified for a doping violation. The Lithuanian was the first repeat discus champion since American Al Oerter won four in a row from 1956-68.
Highly renowned in his native Lithuania, Alekna was awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas after winning his first Olympic championship.
In addition to his Olympic success, Alekna won World Championships in 2003 and 2005 after taking silver medals in 1997 and 2001. His 37-meet winning streak ended in 2007.
- Height: 6-7
- Weight: 287
- Birth date: February 13, 1972
- Hometown: Terpeikiai, Lithuania
- World Championships: Two
- Personal best: 73.88 meters (242 feet, 4 inches)