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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

LORNE LOOMER

Inducted in 1957

Member Details

Date of Birth: November 3, 1937
Place of Birth: Nelson, BC
Date of Passing: January 1, 2017
Sport: Rowing
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1956

National Championships - St. Catharines, Ontario - University of British Columbia four oared crew without coxswain - Gold Medal - rowed in #2 seat

Melbourne, Australia - Olympic Games - University of British Columbia four oared without coxswain - 2000 metres - in #2 seat - first ever Gold Medal for Canada in rowing

1958

Cardiff, Wales - Commonwealth Games - #2 seat of the UBC 8 oared crew - Gold Medal

Honoured Member LORNE LOOMER
Inspire

Story

Lorne Loomer held the number two seat of the four oared crew without coxswain at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia to win the first Gold Medal in rowing for Canada. This team, one of several high-ranking crews of world-class coach Frank Read, achieved probably the largest victory of margin of any crew in the modern games. The winning of the first-ever Olympic Gold Medal for Canada signaled a decisive shift of Canadian rowing excellence from its former traditional base of Toronto, Ontario to the Pacific Coast. Lorne, along with crew chief Don Arnold, accompanied by Walter d'Hondt and Archie Mackinnon were comparative newcomers to the sport of rowing. They were spares for the men's heavy University of British Columbia eight oared crew, and had little race experience until the actual Canadian Trials in St. Catharines, Ontario. Only after the crew set a new world record time of 6:04.8 over 2000 metres were they considered possible Olympic contenders. Ardent support by the late Lieut. Governor Frank Ross, Col. Victor Spencer, Nelles Stacey, Professor Bob Osborne and others successfully turned the hand of the Canadian Olympic Association of the day to enter a Canadian Coxswainless four oared crew in the Olympic Games of 1956. In 1958, Loomer captained the University of British Columbia eight oared crew at the British Commonwealth Games in Wales, at which the crew achieved a Gold Medal. Loomer also served as an alternate for the University of British Columbia Crew at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy. Later, Lorne was one of the founders of the rowing programme at the University of Victoria where as a coach he was responsible for the development of several athletes who competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.


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