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Virgilijus Alekna: Discus Champion

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Virgilijus Alekna: Discus Champion

Virgilijus Alekna

Stuart Hannagan/Getty Images
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.

Double winner:

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.

Hometown hero:

Highly renowned in his native Lithuania, Alekna was awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas after winning his first Olympic championship.

Career highlights:

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.

The stats:

  • 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)

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