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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

HAROLD WRIGHT

Inducted in 1987

Member Details

Date of Birth: December 10, 1908
Place of Birth: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of Passing: December 11, 1997
Sport: Multisport
Member Category: Builder

Career Highlights

1966-1969

President, Canadian Field Hockey Association

1969-1977

President, Canadian Olympic Association

1970-1977

Director, Organizing Committee, Montreal Olympic Games

1970-1997

Governor, Olympic Trust

1972-1977

Director, Commonwealth Games Association of Canada

1977

Named an officer of the Order of Canada

Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal

1979

IOC's Olympic Order of Merit, Silver Medal

Honoured Member HAROLD WRIGHT
Inspire

Story

There are many talented athletes who have given up their sport in order to pursue a career in a different field, but it is often these athletes who, through their worldly knowledge and lasting passion for athletics, can make the most difference in the world of sport. Harold Wright was just such an individual. As president of the Canadian Olympic Association, he used his considerable experience in the business world for the betterment of athletics in Canada. One of the nation's top sprinters in his youth, Wright was chosen to run in exhibition races against Percy Williams when this great Olympic champion came through Edmonton in 1930. At the 1932 Olympic Games, Wright reached the semi-finals in both the 100m and 200m events. Wright continued to win accolades on the track while studying geological and metallurgical engineering at the University of Alberta, Utah University, and the University of British Columbia. Following his graduation, he retired from competition and established Wright Engineers Limited, an engineering firm that handled large mining projects around the world. It wasn't until his children became involved in sport that Wright got back into the game. When his son, Lee, started playing competitive field hockey, Wright senior became heavily involved in the administrative aspects of the sport, serving as president of the Canadian Field Hockey Association from 1966 to 1969. Wright's career as a sports executive took off from there. In 1969, he was voted president of the Canadian Olympic Association, a position he held until 1977. During this time, he played a major role in the successful bid for the 1976 Montreal Olympics and subsequently served as director of the Organizing Committee for these Games. Wright also served as director of the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada from 1972 to 1977 and assisted in the organization of the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. One of Wright's greatest accomplishments during his tenure was the founding of the Olympic Trust, a branch of the COA that provided vital funding for athletes. He served as governor of this trust from 1970 until his death in 1997. Over the years, Wright also helped found the Olympic Club of Canada for ex-Olympians, served as Director of the B.C. Amateur Sports Council, and acted as Governor of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. In 1977, he received the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his significant contribution to sport in Canada. In 1979, he was honoured with the International Olympic Committee's Order of Merit silver medal. These awards serve as eloquent testimony to Harold Wright's outstanding and selfless dedication to the cause of amateur sport in Canada.


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