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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

LOU SCHOLES

Inducted in 1955

Member Details

Date of Birth: June 15, 1879
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario
Date of Passing: April 19, 1942
Sport: Rowing
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1901

U.S. Intermediate Singles Title

1902

Two major senior sculls titles, Harlem Regatta

1903

Double Sculls Title Singles Titles at Dominion Day Regatta, Canadian Henley, and United States National Rowing Association Regatta

1904

First Canadian to win Diamond Sculls

Honoured Member LOU SCHOLES
Inspire

Story

While most athletes strive for gold, diamonds are a rower's best friend. Lou Scholes proved that he was a cut above the rest when he became the first Canadian to win the Diamond Sculls, rowing's unofficial amateur world championships, in 1904. A native of Toronto, Scholes stroked his first scull at the Don Rowing Club. In 1901, he was sent to compete in the U.S. Nationals, where he claimed the U.S. intermediate singles title. The following year, Scholes collected two major single sculling titles at the Harlem Regatta, defeating reigning American amateur champion C.S. Titus in the process. He made his first attempts at the Diamond Sculls in 1902 and 1903 but was unsuccessful in securing rowing's most prestigious title. In 1903, he teamed with Frank Smith and took both the Canadian and U.S. double sculls titles. Meanwhile, Scholes maintained his place among North America's top single scullers, with victories in the Dominion Day Regatta in Toronto, the Canadian Henley, and the United States National Association Regatta. Scholes arrived at the 1904 Henley-on-Thames only to find that the rowing world had already pinned F.S. Kelly of Australia as the likely winner of the Diamond Sculls. Kelly had previously won in 1902 and 1903 and showed no sign of giving up his title. Spectators yawned when he took a two boat-length lead in the semi-finals. At the three-quarter mark, however, Scholes shot ahead and pulled onward at a pace that Kelly simply couldn't match. The Canadian's victory in this heat was only half as shocking to the British public as his triumph in the finals the following day when he defeated London's A.H. Cloutte. Not only was he the first Canadian to claim the Diamond Sculls, but Scholes accomplished it in a record time on eight minutes and 23.2 seconds. So significant was this victory to Canadians that when the champion sculler arrived in Toronto, he was greeted by a welcoming crowd of 70,000. Scholes retired from competition shortly thereafter, ending his brief but brilliant rowing career.


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