JZ: What was your life like after you came to the US?
YY: I did not go to work in iron mines in Minnesota as many of my countrymen did, nor did I take a job felling trees in forests of Wisconsin. During my three years in Lisbon I had studied languages, so, by the time I came to US, I knew English quite well. My first job was a quality control inspector at Imperial Brass in Chicago. I played volleyball for a Chicago team. In 1958 we played in the US Amateur Athletic Union tourney in Minneapolis, MN. We won first place and I was chosen as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the meet, the trophy says: Player of the Year 1958, Helms Foundation, Los Angeles. In Chicago, I was also a member of the Slovenian folklore group and often danced with Margie Prah the first Slovenian ballad of Povodni moz( see photo with Marge in the role of the flirt Urska ). The ballad is by Slovenian poet France Preseren, who wrote it in spring of 1826 basing it on a tale from1574 about a dance on Old Square (stari trg)in Ljubljana where Urska Sefer snubbing other suitors, was enchanted by Povodni moz (vodyanoy in most of Slavic literature) who then tugs her into Ljubljanica river. The haunting music for the dance was by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Our group often took part at ethnic festivals in Chicago area where we did Slovenian folk dances.
JZ: I have known you, Yul, as a volleyball player. How did you get into shot put?
YY: The University of Kansas volleyball coach approached me at the US National Volleyball Championship in Scranton, PA, and offered me a one-year scholarship in volleyball at KU. I never went to a college in USA, so one year in a US university was all I wanted, anyhow..