Norman Lane – Olympic Canoeist 1948

by Grayden McClurg

Published in the September 2012 Newsletter

Norman Lane, a long time cottager, on Bobby’s Garden Lane on the North Branch of Buck Lake is a Bronze medal holder from the 1948 London Games of the XIV Olympiad. Although the 2012 games have come and gone his story lives on.

Now 92 and a retired McMaster University Math Professor Norman Lane is proud to have represented Canada in London in 1948. He competed in the 10,000 meter “C-1” canoe race at Henley-on-Thames, a village about 60 kilometers west of London.

The 1948 Games were the first to be shown on home television. These Games were marked by the first participation of Communist countries and the first boycotts. Many countries, including Burma, Ceylon, Colombia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Panama, Puerto Rico, Syria and Venezuela, were represented for the first time. On the other hand, there were no athletes from Japan, Germany or the USSR.

Canada won only three medals at the 1948 Olympic Games placing Canada 22nd. Canoeists Douglas Bennett won silver in the C-1 1000m and Norman Lane won bronze in the C-1 10,000m. The women’s 4x100m relay team of Viola Myers, Nancy Mackay, Diane Foster, and Pat Jones gave Canada its second bronze medal.

If you notice a tall elderly gentleman looking amazingly fit in a canoe on the North Branch, it might be Norman Lane because he still likes to pick up a paddle at his cottage.