Yul Yost

From: Lipovec, Slovenia  Current City: Minneapolis, MN
"I landed in New York City on January 3 1957. That was the first time I beheld the Statue of Liberty, that iconic symbol of freedom."
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The life of Yul Yost is an example of how your talents can lead you to unexpected places. Volleyball gave Yul the chance to travel the world and even earn an education.

Mr. Yost was born in the former Yugoslavia—in what in now known as Slovenia—and grew up during the Second World War. When the war ended and the communist regime was established in Yugoslavia, Yul’s parents were imprisoned; their family farm was confiscated. Mr. Yost began looking for opportunities to leave the country. He made the Yugoslavian National Men’s Volleyball team and toured Europe with the squad.

During a volleyball match in Portugal, Mr. Yost decided to stay there. He joined a professional volleyball club and lived in Lisbon for three years before immigrating to the United States. In 1957, Yul made his way to Chicago where he continued to play volleyball. He captured the attention of a coach from the University of Kansas who offered him an athletic scholarship. At KU, he made the track team in shot put. Although he was a walk-on, Mr. Yost was undefeated within the Big 8 Conference.

After earning his undergraduate degree, Mr. Yost went to graduate school at the University of Minnesota where he studied organic chemistry. Yul worked at the VA Medical Center as a research chemist until he retired in 1995. In retirement, he has become an avid gardener and an active member of the Twin Cities Slovenia Club. Mr. Yost lives in Minneapolis.

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