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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

VICTOR DAVIS

Inducted in 1990

Member Details

Date of Birth: February 10, 1964
Place of Birth: Guelph, Ontario
Date of Passing: November 13, 1989
Sport: Swimming
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1982

World Championship gold medal, 200m breaststroke, silver medal, 100m breaststroke

1984

Los Angeles Olympic Games - gold and silver medal, 200m and 100m breaststroke, silver medal as part of the 4x100m medley relay team

1986

World Championships gold medalist in the 100m and silver medalist in the 200m breaststroke 

1988

Seoul Olympic Games - Silver medalist in  the 4x100m medley relay 

Honoured Member VICTOR DAVIS
Inspire

Story

His name was apt. Victor was a winner. As a boy, Victor Davis learned how to swim in the lakes in the area around his home before joining the Guelph Marlin Aquatic Club at the age of 12. Competing as a relative unknown 16 year-old at the 1980 Canadian nationals, he returned to the 1981 nationals and beat the legendary Graham Smith in a come-from-behind victory in the 100m breaststroke. This was the first of his 26 career national titles. Internationally, he made his first splash at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Australia. It was during these Games that Davis galvanized his reputation for intensity, impulsiveness, and a deeply-rooted drive to win. When his relay team failed to qualify in a race, Davis kicked a chair in frustration. Unfortunately, the Queen of England was in the audience. His lack of decorum rendered royalists aghast, but Canadian sport officials were delighted once they got over their shock. Victor Davis wanted to win medals, not friends. And win medals he did. Davis won gold and silver medals in, respectively, the 200m and 100m breaststroke events. He went on to greater success at the Los Angeles Olympics, breaking his own record en route to a gold medal. Just as significantly, he was part of the silver medal 4 x 100m relay team at the same Games. Davis won two more gold in 1986 at the Scotland Commonwealth Games, finally capturing top titles in the 100m and in the 4 x 100m relay races. He also swam to a silver medal in the 200m event. That same year, at the World Championships in Spain, he won a gold medal in the 100m and silver in the 200m breaststroke events. In recognition of his accomplishments, Davis was named Swimming Canada's Athlete of the Year in 1982, 1984, and 1986 and became a member of the Order of Canada in 1985, the same year he was voted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. A star of Canada's national swim team for nine years, he retired from competitive swimming in July of 1989. On November 11, 1989, only a few months after his retirement, Davis was struck by an automobile outside a nightclub in the Montreal suburb of Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue was thrown head-first into a parked car. The driver fled the scene. Two days later, the 25- year-old died of brain and spinal injuries. His parents, according to his wishes, donated his organs to help save the lives of others. Ever since the tragedy, the Victor Davis Memorial Fund has helped young Canadian swimmers continue their education while training in pursuit of excellence at the international level of competition. Although Victor Davis himself appeared almost one-dimensional as an athletic icon, he believed that athletes needed to be well-rounded, seeing more than the bottom of a pool in their spare time. Victor Davis. Canada's victor.


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