Hall of Famer
Inducted in 1975
M.A.A.A Welterweight Title
Two Canadian Welterweight Titles
Antwerp Olympic Games, Gold Medal
75 professional bouts
As the 1920 Olympics approached, Canadian boxing champion Bert Schneider was surprised to learn that boxing was to be included in the Games, and even more surprised to discover that he was being sent to represent Canada. Even though he had lived most of his life north of the U.S. border, Schneider was an American by birth and still lacked Canadian citizenship. Nevertheless, the champion boxer was given a Canadian passport and sent to the Games, where he did not disappoint his adopted country. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Schneider moved to Canada as a young boy when his father got a job with a Montreal steel plant. In his youth, he swam, dove, skied, and played water polo. He took up boxing in high school but did not enter into serious competition until after the First World War. Schneider tried to enlist in the Canadian Army in 1914 but was turned down because of his American citizenship and his German heritage. He managed to get a job on a lake boat destined for England, but once overseas, he was arrested for going ashore without a passport. Schneider was sentenced to three months of hard labour before being permitted to return to North America. Little did he know that the next time he would make this journey, he would do so not as a deportee, but as an Olympic champion. Upon his return, Schneider joined Montreal's Casquette Club and began training with Canadian and U.S. middleweight boxing champion Eugene Brosseau. He became a member of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association when the Casquette Club folded and soon became its top welterweight boxer. Fighting for the MAAA, he won one city title and was twice the Canadian welterweight boxing champion. Over the course of his amateur career, he never lost a bout. At the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Schneider met boxers from South Africa, Norway, the United States, and England, winning three out of four rounds and claiming the gold medal. With two silver and two bronze medals already claimed by his teammates, Schneider's victory was the crowing feat in what was Canada's best showing in Olympic boxing. Schneider turned professional shortly after his golden triumph. He fought in approximately 75 bouts over the next seven years before retiring from the ring in 1928. He spent the next three decades working for the United States border patrol in various parts of America but still managed to retain his connection with the MAAA and the city of Montreal. For his outstanding record, which included Canada's first Olympic boxing gold medal, Schneider received an honoured place in the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame.