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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

FRANK AMYOT

Inducted in 1955

Member Details

Date of Birth: September 14, 1904
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario
Date of Passing: November 21, 1962
Sport: Canoe / Kayak Sprint
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1923

Canadian Intermediate Singles title

1929-1935

Six consecutive National Senior Single Blade titles

1936

Canada's only gold medal at the Berlin Olympics for 1,000m singles, setting Olympic record of 5:32.1

Honoured Member FRANK AMYOT
Inspire

Story

Frank Amyot saw only opportunity. Growing up in Ottawa, Amyot acquired his water skills by spending most of his time from early boyhood on the many waterways and lakes in the area. As a teenager, he wanted to be a sculler, but he couldn't afford $250 to purchase a shell. Undaunted, he built his own canoe and forged his legacy that way. In 1922 he began training and competing for the Ottawa Rideau Club and won the Canadian Intermediate Singles title in 1923. Of particular note was his size: At six-foot-two and two hundred pounds he was larger than his fellow competitors, requiring a custom-built competition canoe. Amyot won six consecutive Canadian senior singles championships, a feat that remains unmatched to this day. In 1935, he was appointed coach, manager, and member of the first ever Canadian Olympic paddling team. However, in those days this meant he was also responsible for championing the fund-raising efforts to send himself and three other members of the Canadian canoe team to Berlin. So, he did. Interestingly enough, this under-funded sport became one of the most widely esteemed that year, for Frank Amyot won the 1,000m singles title with a record-setting time of 5:32.1. It proved to be Canada's only gold medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. At a meeting of the Canadian Canoe Association in 1937, Amyot moved that the C.C.A. assume full responsibility for financing the next Canadian canoeing team at the Japan Olympiad in 1940. He also suggested that an appeal be made to the International Olympic Body to have the order of the races changed, with the shorter distance races held on the first day of competition and the longer events the following day. Today, Olympic paddlers have Amyot to thank for national funding recognition and fairer race scheduling. Amyot retired from competitive canoeing in 1936 and represented his country by joining the Canadian Navy, serving as a Lieutenant-Commander during the Second World War. At the time of his sudden death at the age of fifty-seven, Frank Amyot was working for the Department of Veterans' Affairs in Ottawa.


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