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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

BRUCE KIDD

Inducted in 1968

Member Details

Date of Birth: July 27, 1943
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario
Sport: Athletics
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1961

Lou Marsh Trophy

1961, 1962

Lionel Conacher Trophy

1962

Gold medal in 6-mile, bronze medal in 3-mile, Commonwealth Games

1964

Member, Canadian Olympic Team

1998

Dean, U of T Faculty of Physical Education and Health

2005

Named to the Order of Canada

Honoured Member BRUCE KIDD
Inspire

Story

Though he may be better known for his recent groundbreaking work in sport equity, Bruce Kidd was a sensation on the North American indoor track scene in the early 1960s. Kidd's name was frequently writ large across newspaper headlines as this incredible mid-distance runner shattered records seemingly at will. When Kidd joined the East York Track Club in 1958, coach Fred Foot immediately saw the potential in this young athlete. Within a year, Kidd has set a new Canadian record for the 2-mile race and had run the 3-mile race in a sensational time of 14:26. In 1961, Kidd first made headlines when, at the age of 17, he won the 2-mile indoor race in Boston, breaking the U.S. record in the process. For the next three years, Kidd was on top of his sport. With fellow University of Toronto track star Bill Crothers, Kidd took both the Canadian and American track worlds by storm. At the 1962 Compton Invitational in California, Kidd beat 1960 Olympic 5,000m champion Murray Halberg of New Zealand. Not only did the 19-year-old dethrone the king in his own court, but he did it in an American record time of 13:17.4. The rest of the year was a stream of titles and records for Kidd in one, 2, 3, and 6-mile events across the continent. He capped a wildly successful season with a gold medal in the 6-mile and a bronze medal in the 3-mile event at the Commonwealth Games later that year. In 1963, Kidd smashed the 2-mile record he set in 1961 and received a standing ovation from a crowd of nearly 14,000 at the L.A. Invitational Indoor Track and Field meet. He received the Lionel Conacher trophy in 1961 and 1962, and the Lou Marsh Trophy as our country's outstanding athlete in 1961. Besides bringing international renown to Canadian runners, Kidd was also partly responsible for the resurgence of track and field in Toronto. His brilliant feats recalled the glory days of the late 1920s and '30s, when Canadian stars such as Percy Williams shone on the Olympic track. Kidd also resurrected the Telegram Maple Leaf Games in Toronto in 1963, an event that had been moribund for 27 years. Unfortunately, Kidd's athletic career was cut short due to prolonged injuries in his feet and tendons. After a disappointing performance at the 1964 Olympic Games, Canada's wonder boy retired from competition but embarked on a second brilliant career as a sport academic and an activist for athlete's rights. Kidd completed a Masters Degree at the University of Chicago, joined the University of Toronto's department of Physical Education in 1970, and was appointed Dean of the faculty in 1998. In addition to his teaching, writing, and research, Kidd became a fervent advocate for the elimination of racism and sexism in sport. He was active in organizations such as the Canadian Association for Advancement of Women and Sport (CAAWS) and was director of the International Campaign against Apartheid Sport. Among numerous other projects, Kidd established the first gender equity program in varsity sport at the University of Toronto, was co-founder of the Canadian Sport Development Program, which is now known as the International Development through Sport (IDS) unit of Commonwealth Games Canada, and was also active in the campaign to bring sports under the Ontario Human Rights Act. For his brilliant athletic achievements and his significant contribution to sport in Canada, Kidd was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005.


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