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Home / News / Tribute to our brother Leon Birkholz sscc (1904-1968) (Poland) (Brs)

Tribute to our brother Leon Birkholz sscc (1904-1968) (Poland) (Brs)

On April 26, at Christus Rex (Sokolówka) the Provincial House, the SSCC Province of Poland, the Polish Olympic Committee, students from schools in the municipalities of Klodzko, Bystrzyca Klodzka and Duszniki Zdroj, and various authorities commemorated our brother, Leon Birkholz sscc on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of his death.

Brother Leon was an exceptional person. In his life he was an Olympic athlete, banker, soldier, husband, and in the last stage of his life he was a religious of the SSCC. In 1928 he participated in the Olympic Games in Amsterdam and won a bronze medal in rowing, in a cox four contest. It was the first Olympic medal for Poland in rowing. It should be noted that in 1928 after 120 years of foreign domination, Poland was celebrating 10 years of existence in Europe. His sporting achievements included  4 championships in Poland,  eight runners-up  and two bronze medals; also he was placed third in Europe twice.

The ceremony was held in two places. First in our house, Christus Rex, where the ceremony  presented his sporting life, his professional life, his short marriage and religious life in SSCC. Then, in the sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows in Stary Wielislal, Bishop Dec, along with several priests sscc celebrated Mass for all Polish Olympians. After Mass the Polish Olympic Committee officials and the Provincial, Piotr Budrewicz sscc, put the Olympic plaque next to his name on the tomb where Brother Leon rests in peace.

In short, we can say that Leon Birkholz is the only Polish Olympian who was also a religious, and especially a religious of the SSCC. That he was the only religious ever to attain this honor,  could also be said across Europe and perhaps the world. 

04/27/2016