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Leon Štukelj. Sokol, Olympian, cosmopolitan

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first two Olympic gold medals won by Slovenian Olympian Leon Štukelj in Paris in July 1924, an exhibition dedicated to the famous Slovenian gymnast is on display in Novo mesto.

Štukelj was born on 12 November 1898 in Novo mesto. Although he spent a large part of his life in Maribor, he remained closely connected with Novo mesto, where he first seriously encountered gymnastics. He won his first medals at the Olympic Games in Paris in July 1924, both in the men's and men's pole vault, both gold.

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Slovenia's most successful athlete in terms of medals won at the Olympic Games

Novo mesto has been associated with Leon Štukelj for 120 years.

He finally stepped out of anonymity in 1924, when he won his first Olympic medal and was enthusiastically welcomed in his hometown.

Since then, he has been one of the well-known and famous citizens of Novo mesto, of whom the city is proud and wants to preserve in its historical memory. For this reason, 2018 was also dedicated to Leon Štukelj with the slogan "A healthy spirit in Novo mesto";

The permanent exhibition presents Štukelj's rich sporting career, as he is still considered the most successful Slovenian athlete in terms of medals won at the Olympic Games.

Štukelj's private life is also highlighted - Leon and Novo mesto, Štukelj's family in Maribor, his following of the Olympic movement and his meetings with famous personalities. Thus, for the first time, a large number of objects from his private life are on display, thus going beyond the context of his outstanding sporting successes.

Author: Vesna Žarkovič

Date: 9. July 2024

Time to read: 2 min