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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

ARCHIE MACKINNON

Inducted in 1957

Member Details

Date of Birth: August 19, 1938
Place of Birth: Canbrook, British Columbia
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 #1 (bow) seat

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

1958

National Championships - St. Catharines, Ontario - #3 seat of the 8 oared crew - Gold Medal

Cardiff, Wales - Commonwealth Games - #3 seat of the UBC 8 oared crew - Gold Medal

1960

National Championships - St. Catharines, Ontario - #3 seat of the UBC eight oared crew - Gold Medal

Rome, Italy - Olympic Games - #3 seat in the eight oared crew - Silver Medal - only medal for Canada at those Games

Honoured Member ARCHIE MACKINNON
Inspire

Story

Archie MacKinnon rowed in the bow position 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 the 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. He, along with crew chief Don Arnold, accompanied by Walter d'Hondt and Lorne Loomer were all comparative newcomers to the sport of rowing. Since they were all spares for the heavy 8 man University of British Columbia crew, they 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 Games. In 1958 the Olympic University of British Columbia Gold Medal four was joined by an additional four UBC students to win a Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games in Wales. MacKinnon, Don Arnold and Walter d'Hondt were also members of the heavy 8 oared University of British Columbia crew who won a Silver Medal at the Rome Olympics of 1960, which was the only medal won for Canada at those games.


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