McGill Olympian Phil Edwards gets call from Athletics Canada Hall of Fame
Dr. Phil Edwards, an Olympic track star and McGill University graduate is among 10 nominees slated for induction to the Athletics Canada Hall of Fame in Moncton, N.B., on June 20, 2013. Five athletes, one coach, three in memoriam and one builder will be enshrined at the ceremony, which will be held in conjunction with the Canadian track and field championships and the IAAF world athletics trials.
Edwards, one of three posthumous selections, was previously inducted to the McGill Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, as well as the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame that same year. A versatile athlete who lived most of his life in Montreal, he is Canada's most decorated Olympian in track & field and was the first Canadian Olympian to win five Olympic medals, racking up five bronzes over three Olympiads -- in 1928 at Amsterdam, 1932 at Los Angeles and 1936 in Berlin.
Edwards was the first black athlete in Canada to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games and in 1936, was the inaugural winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy, as Canada's athlete of the year.
He was born Philip Aron Edwards on Sept. 13, 1907 at Georgetown, British Guiana and later graduated from McGill medical school in 1936, followed by a graduate diploma in medicine in 1945, specializing in tropical diseases. He went on to serve as a captain with the Canadian Army in the Second World War.
At the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam he won bronze in the 4x400m relay and finished fourth in 800m. At Los Angeles he captured three bronze medals (800m, 1500m and 4x400m). At Berlin he won bronze in the 800m, placed fourth in 4x400m relay and was fifth in 1500m.
During his university days, Edwards belonged to a McGill fraternity and was a member of the Martlet Society. He was consistently the University's top scorer in track & field and led the Redmen to six consecutive championships, captaining the team in each of his last five seasons (1931-36). He was also Canadian intercollegiate track champion in various events numerous times and established many McGill, Canadian and American track records.
The only four-time winner of 600-yard race at American indoor track nationals (1928 to 1931) he posted 13 national bests, seven second-best performances and five third bests from 1927 to 1936. He competed for British Guiana at British Empire Games (1930-34) and won gold in half-mile at 1934 Games in London.
He died in Montreal on Sept. 6, 1971 and shortly afterwards, the "Phil Edwards Memorial Trophy", was established to be presented annually to Canada's most outstanding track athlete.
Athletes joining Edwards in memoriam for this year's ceremony will be coach Lloyd Percival (1913-1974) from Toronto, Ont., and paralympian Eugene Reimer (1940-2008) of Abbotsford, B.C.
Other athletes selected include high-jumper Mark Boswell from Brampton, Ont., marathoner Jerome Drayton from Toronto, Ont., pentathlete Diane Jones-Konihowski of Canmore, Alta., decathlete Michael Smith of Calgary, Alta., and paralympian Chantal Petitclerc from Montreal, Que.,
Builders named were coach Earl Church of Welland, Ont., and Moncton administrator Ian Fowler, who was instrumental in the development of Moncton Stadium and bringing the 2010 world junior championships to Atlantic Canada.
Coinciding with the Canadian track and field championships and IAAF world trials in Moncton, June 20-23, the class of 2013 will officially be enriched to Athletics Canada's Hall of Fame on June 20 at the Delta Beauséjour. A reception is slated for 6 p.m. followed by the induction banquet and dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at: www.moncton2013.com.
The banquet will also honour Athletics Canada's 2012 annual award recipients, including Olympic bronze medalist Derek Drouin; Olympians Phylicia George, Inaki Gomez, Sarah Wells, and Jessica Zelinka. Paralympians to be recognized include Jason Dunkerley, Joshua Karanja and Michelle Stilwell. Also decorated will be development athletes Shawnacy Barber and Nicole Setterington along with Surge Turgeon (official of the year) and Anthony McCleary (coach of the year).
More information on the Athletics Hall of Fame is available online at:www.halloffame.athletics.ca