Ethel Catherwood, track and field athlete (b in Hannah, North Dakota 28 Apr 1908; d Grass Valley, California 26 Sept 1987). Ethel Catherwood was the only Canadian woman ever to win an individual gold medal in Olympic track and field competition. Raised in Saskatoon, she emerged as a high jumper in 1926 when she equalled the Canadian record at a city meet; later that year she broke the world record with a jump of 1.58 m. Followers dubbed her "The Saskatoon Lily" in Toronto, where philanthropist Teddy Oke took her under his wing. At the 1928 Canadian championships in Halifax, she set a new record of 1.6 m. On the final day of the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, Ethel Catherwood cleared 1.59 m in the women's "running high jump" for the gold medal. After a hero's welcome, she turned down motion-picture offers in favour of a business course and piano study; she married and moved to California, never to compete again.
Gold medal winner in the high jump at the 1928 Olympic Games (courtesy Canadian Sports Hall of Fame).
Links to Other Sites
Canada's Sports Hall Of Fame
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame promotes Canada's extensive and colourful sport heritage. Check out their website for illustrated biographies of Canadian athletes.
The Matchless Six: The Story of Canada's First Women's Olympic Team.
A review of Ron Hotchkiss' book "The Matchless Six", which focuses on the first Canadian women's Olympic team at the 1928 Summer Games in Amsterdam. From the website for the Manitoba Library Association.