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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

FRANK READ

Inducted in 2015

Member Details

Date of Birth: 1911
Date of Passing: 1992
Sport: Rowing
Member Category: Builder

Career Highlights

1956

Led a four and eight man crew for the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia - eights winning a Silver medal and the fours winning Canada’s first-ever Olympic Gold medal in rowing

1960

Led the eights crew - Olympic Games in Rome - Silver medal 

Honoured Member FRANK READ
Inspire

Story

Frank Read began as a rowing coach in 1949 and quickly built up a dynasty of powerhouse rowers who dominated international competition for over a decade. Frank was widely regarded as one of the world’s top rowing coaches and his span of coaching from 1950-1960 is remembered as Vancouver’s “Golden Era of Rowing.” Often described as hard-nosed and a strict disciplinarian he quickly removed rowers that were anything but totally dedicated and focussed on success. The athletes that thrived in his gruelling training regimen admired Frank as he had the enviable skill of transforming green crews of inexperienced university students into world class competitors.

Frank led the UBC-VRC eights and fours crews and amassed an incredible list of victories unsurpassed in Canadian rowing at that time culminating in an upset gold medal victory of the UBC-VRC eights over the heavily favoured English crew at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. In 1955 Frank led his team to a Silver medal in the Henley Royal Regatta stunning the reigning world champion Russian crew in the semifinals.  In 1956 Frank led a four and eight man crew for the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia with the eights winning a Silver medal and the fours winning Canada’s first-ever Olympic Gold medal in rowing. In 1958 and 1959, although not formally the head coach, Frank Read returned to provide critical assistance during the final training and preparation for the 1958 Commonwealth Games and the 1959 Pan American Games, resulting in a further Gold medal and 3 Silver medals for Canada. Frank returned to lead the eights crew that qualified for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, winning another Silver medal for Canada  and a fitting  end to his outstanding career.


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