Not many will forget John Wood’s performance at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Wood, a long-time member of the Mississauga Canoe Club, rose to international prominence after winning a silver medal in canoeing. It marked the first time in 24 years, since the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, that Canada had received a medal in canoe. He just missed out on gold in the C-1 500 metre individual race, finishing 34/100th of a second behind first place finisher Alexandre Rogov of the Soviet Union.
Wood died Wednesdayby suicide. He was 62.
Dean Oldershaw, a kayaker who’s currently a coach at the Mississauga Canoe Club, trained with Wood prior to the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. He can’t forget just how hard Wood worked to get his body ready for competition with the best in the world.
“He wasn’t a natural athlete but he was the hardest worker I’ve ever seen,” said Oldershaw. “I thought I was a hard worker but when we would train I’d see his back most of the time when we were running or cross-country skiing. mHe was an inspiration to be around and I know he made me train harder,” he continued.
Despite all his athletic success, Wood wasn’t the type of guy to let it go to his head. Judy Tutty, a long-time member of the Mississauga Canoe Club, said Wood always had time to chat with younger athletes and acted as a mentor to many of them. Tutty said he was a legend in the sport. Even when his competitive paddling days were over, he gave back to the sport in a variety of ways including serving as director of the Burloak Canoe Club as well as investment committee chair for both Canadian Olympic Foundation and Canadian Olympic Association.
Tutty, who joined the canoe club in 1972, said she is saddened by his loss. “He was far, far too young,” said Tutty. “The whole canoeing community is in shock right now. I was just beside myself when I heard.”
Oldershaw, meanwhile, credited Wood with being a role model for other Canadian Olympics canoeists such as Larry Cain and Steve Giles.
Wood also competed in the two-men race at the Montreal Olympics, finishing seventh. He represented Canada three times at the Olympics, including Mexico City in 1968 and Munich in 1972. Wood won another silver medal in the two-men 500 metres with partner Greg Smith at the 1977 World Championships and retired from canoeing soon after. However, he wasn’t done with sport and won a bronze medal in sailing at the 1979 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico.
He also served as a canoe commentator on the CBC and covered the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.He’s a member of both the Mississauga and Oakville Sports Halls of Fame. Once his athletic days were over, he went on to enjoy a successful career as a stockbroker and served as president of the 20/20 Group. He’s also chairman and founder of Bellwether Investment Management.
Wood, who had been living in Oakville, is survived by his wife Debbie, three sons and daughter.
“It was my honour to have known him and not just on race day,” said Oldershaw.
A celebration of John’s life will take place Saturday February 2nd from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Mississauga Canoe Club, 31 Front Street, Mississauga ON.
Canada’s Mark Oldershaw won Olympic bronze in the men’s C-1 1000m on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games; and he accomplished it in the same city where the Oldershaw Olympic legacy all started.
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Canada’s Adam van Koeverden won Olympic silver in the men’s K-1 1000m on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The 30-year-old from Oakville, Ont., had a powerful start and held the lead for the first 750 metres of the race, but a strong golden sprint by Norway’s Eirik Veras Larsen was too much to hold off.
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Canada’s Mark Oldershaw placed second in his heat of the men’s C-1 1000m to advance to the semi-finals.
The Burlington native was just behind Spain’s David Cal to claim second place.
Oldershaw paddled in good form to claim second place, opting to save energy for the semi-finals later in the day.
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Canada’s Adam van Koeverden showed the world why he is a top medal hope during the first semi-final race of the men’s K-1 1000m with a stunning performance to claim first place and advance to the final.
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A British woman is launching a court challenge against organizers of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games over the exclusion of women’s canoe racing events – and several Canadians are an important part of the fight.
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Jazmyne Denhollander of Yarrow, BC places 8th in the women’s junior K1 event at the 2012 ICF Junior Canoe Slalom World Championships in Wasuau, Wisconsin.
CKC whitewater high performance manager James Cartwright said, “This is a fantastic experience for Jazmyne to race in the final amongst the best junior paddlers in the world. Jazmyne is a determined athlete and her hard work has paid off today. The Canadian coaches are looking forward to seeing what Jazmyne will do next season when she moves up into the senior age category.”
CanadaKayak Canada concluded the Junior and U23 World Championships with 4 athletes qualifying for the finals. Ben Hayward of Edmonton, Alberta placed 6th in the men’s U23 K1 event, Alexandra McGee of Ottawa, Ontario and Haley Daniels of Calgary, Alberta placed 7th and 8th respectively in the women’s C1 event, and Jazmyne Denhollander of Yarrow, BC placed 8th in the junior women’s K1 event.
“The athletes’ performances are very encouraging and show that our program is headed in the right direction,” Cartwright commented. “We have several athletes who will be back again next year in both the U23 and junior age categories who will have learned a great deal from this first ever combined U23 and Junior World Championships.”
CanMas 2012 information package is now available. Please see attachments below.
Excellent coverage in today’s - Tuesday June 26th – Globe and Mail. See link below:
Cam Smedley of Dunrobin, Ottawa advanced to final round in the men’s C1 event and placed 9th overall at the first Canoe Slalom World Cup in Cardiff, Wales. Canada has not earned a quota in the C1 event for the Olympic Games but Canoekayak Canada and Cameron Smedley are anxiously waiting for the International Canoe Federation re-allocation process to unfold to see if a spot becomes available.
In the men’s K1 event John Hastings of Aurora, Ontario placed 18th and narrowly missed advancing to the finals due to a 2 second penalty. Paul Manning-Hunter of Edmonton, Alberta placed 26th, Ben Hayward also of Edmonton, placed 44th.
Michael Tayler, of Ottawa, Canada’s Olympic nominee in Men’s K1, is currently training on the course for World Cup 2 in Pau, France. Michael Tayler will race World Cups 2 and 3 taking place over the next two weekends.
In the women’s K1 event no Canadians advanced to the semifinal stage. Sarah Boudens of Round Lake, Ontario placed 38th, Jessica Groeneveld of Innisfail, Alberta placed 39th, and Florence Maheu of Valleyfield, Quebec placed 42nd racing in her first World Cup competition.
Results, startlists, streaming video and event info: