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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight / Day 1

Spring In His Step

July 20, 1996|Associated Press

Leon Stukelj, the oldest living Olympic champion, looked in top form Friday night as the 97-year-old strolled down a runway created to honor Olympic greats during the opening ceremonies.

Near the close of the extravaganza, with the athletes from 197 nations on the field at the Olympic Stadium, former Olympic champions were called to walk down a path and onto a podium.

Stukelj, the last of the honored Olympians, tipped his cap to the crowd of more than 83,000 and even showed his sprightliness with a few dance steps along the way.

Stukelj, from Slovenia, won five Olympic medals in gymnastics. He won two golds--for the rings and all-around competition--at the 1924 Paris Games, added a gold in the rings and a bronze in the all-around at Amsterdam in 1928 and a silver in the rings in Berlin in 1936.

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