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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

DAVE STEEN

Inducted in 1992

Member Details

Date of Birth: November 14, 1959
Place of Birth: New Westminster, British Columbia
Sport: Decathlon
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1977

Gold medal, Canada Games

1981-1986

Four FNA Rowell Trophies as CTFA's most outstanding athlete

1982

Silver medal, Commonwealth Games

 

1983

Gold medal, Pan-Am Games

World Pentathlon record (4,104 points)

1986

Silver medal, Commonwealth Games

1988

Seoul Olympic Games - Bronze medal

Honoured Member DAVE STEEN
Inspire

Story

Amid the steroid furor of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, one Canadian track and field achievement stands out - Dave Steen's bronze medal performance in the decathlon. Steen's rise to prominence began with a decathlon victory at the 1977 Canada Games. Training at the University of Toronto under head coach Andy Higgins, Steen became the first Canadian to surpass the magic number of 8,000 points, which separates master decathletes from mere apprentices, at the 1982 LSU Invitational. That same year, he placed second at the Commonwealth Games. A score of 8,185 points at the 1983 World University Games won Steen the gold medal, a success he repeated at the 1983 Pan-American Games. Additionally, he set a world record of 4,104 points in the pentathlon at the 1983 University of Toronto Track Classic, defeated Britain's Olympic and world decathlon champion Daley Thompson. Following an eighth-place finish at the 1984 Olympics, Steen took gold at the 1985 Pacific Conference Games and, at the 1986 University of Toronto Track Classic, eclipsed Daley Thompson's 1984 world indoor pentathlon record. A silver medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games was followed by a heptathlon gold medal at the Canadian Indoor Track and Field Championships, where Steen won all seven events. Although he had broken the Canadian decathlon record on seven different occasions, the Seoul Games were expected to be a difficult challenge for this Canadian champion. At the end of the first day's five events, Steen lagged in eleventh place. After four more events, he had bumped himself up to eighth, but a podium placing was still questionable; it was his incredible push during the 1,500m finale that earned him enough points to claim the bronze and become Canada's first Olympic decathlon medalist. Steen retired from competition following the Seoul Olympics, ending a brilliant 13-year career. Among numerous honours, he was awarded the FNA Rowell Trophy by the Canadian Track and Field Association four times as the outstanding athlete in field events, declared Ontario's Athlete of the Year in 1988, and named to the Order of Canada in 1991. A vocal advocate against drugs in sport, Steen is a spokesperson for the Canada Games and an Ambassador for the Government of Canada's Fair Play Commission. His commitment and integrity are models for young people everywhere, while his achievements demonstrate that honour and excellence go hand in hand.


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