Virgilijus Alekna (Lithuanian pronunciation: [vʲɪrʲˈɡʲɪlʲɪjʊs ɐlʲɛkˈnɐ]; 13 February 1972) is a Lithuanian former discus thrower and politician. He won medals at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, including two golds.
|Born||13 February 1972|
Terpeikiai, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
|Height||2.02 m (6 ft 7+1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||130 kg (287 lb)|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||73.88 m (2000)|
|Updated on 12 August 2012.|
After retiring from athletics, Alekna was elected to the national parliament, the Seimas, in 2016.
Alekna has won two gold medals in the Summer Olympics in the discus throw, the first was in 2000 and the second in 2004. He also won the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. In 2007, he was appointed as UNESCO Champion for Sport. His personal record is 73.88 meters (242 ft 4½ in), surpassed only by the world record (74.08).
Alekna was awarded the title of the Athlete of the Year for 2000 by Track and Field News. He was also awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas by the government of Lithuania. He became the Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year 4 times (2000, 2004, 2005, and 2006). Since 1995 Alekna has served as a bodyguard of the Lithuanian Prime Minister.
He is married to former long jumper Kristina Sablovskytė-Aleknienė and has two sons named Martynas and Mykolas, also discus throwers.
At a height of 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in), Alekna has an unusually long armspan, measured 2.22m (7 ft 3.5 in), which is helpful in discus throwing. He can make fingerprints on windows of two opposite sides of a bus simultaneously.
During the 2007 World Championship Virgilijus Alekna competed with an injury. Having sustained the injury on 20 August, he competed in the World Championship's qualification on 28 August and, as a result, suffered a defeat, which broke his 37 victories in a row over the past two years. In 2017 Alekna was awarded the European Athletics Lifetime Achievement award.
In May 2016, Alekna announced he would participate in the elections to the Seimas the following October on the electoral list of the opposition Liberal Movement, without joining the party. He lost the run-off in Naujamiestis single-member constituency, but was elected to the Twelfth Seimas through the electoral list of the party, where he was rated second.
- The 2004 Summer Olympics were marked by a scandal when Hungarian athlete Róbert Fazekas was stripped of his gold medal on the Men's discus event after being caught tampering with his urine sample and refusing to release it during his post-event doping exam. The gold medal was then awarded to Virgilijus Alekna. Although Fazekas set an Olympic Record, this was erased from all records, and consequently the Olympic Record was credited to Alekna (whose winning throw in Athens had beaten the old Olympic Record).
- (in Lithuanian) Eglė Šilinskaitė. Nenugalimąjį metiką įveikė kojos trauma (Unbeatable thrower was defeat by leg injury). Retrieved on 2007-08-29
- "Vetter and Stefanidi crowned European Athletes of the Year | NEWS | World Athletics".
- "Vetter and Stefanidi crowned European athletes of the year".
- "Olimpinis čempionas atskleidė, kodėl priėmė liberalų pasiūlymą".
- Į Seimą nepateko nė vienas liberalo Remigijaus Šimašiaus valdomo Vilniaus liberalas
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Virgilijus Alekna.|