You may have strolled by his statue in Stanley Park or taken part in the track and field meet named after him. If you have lived in Vancouver for any number of years you are probably familiar with the the name Harry Jerome.
It was on this day in 1982 that sprinter Harry Jerome passed away. Harry was born in Saskatchewan in 1940 and began running in high school, in North Vancouver. He later went to the University of Oregon and competed in track and field with the Ducks.
“He was the first to simultaneously hold world records for the 100-metre and 100-yard events. Harry Jerome was co-holder of the 100-metre world record for eight years after setting the mark at 10 seconds flat in Saskatoon in 1960.
He won a bronze medal at the 1964 Olympics, gold medals at 1966 Commonwealth Games and 1967 Pan-American games. He competed in the Olympics in Mexico City in 1968, retiring the same year.” [Vancouver History]
He was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Athletic Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and received the Order of Canada in 1970.
The BC Sports Hall of Fame opened up in 1966 and he was one of the first inductees.
Harry’s legacy of excellence lives on through the Harry Jerome International Track Classic, which was established in 1983 and took his name in 1984. The 29th annual event in Burnaby will once again welcome Canadian and international athletes next summer.