This Week in History
Harry Jerome receives the Order of Canada
For the week of Monday December 13, 2010
On December 18, 1970, Harry Winston Jerome was awarded the Order of Canada Medal of Service in recognition of his achievements in track and field, and for his contributions to fitness in Canada. Born in Saskatchewan in 1940, Jerome’s family moved to British Columbia in late 1952. An avid athlete who played many sports, Jerome was convinced by his high school track and field coach that his future lay in sprinting. As a high school senior, Jerome received a scholarship to the University of Oregon for his performance in sprinting, where he earned a Master’s degree in physical education.
After his retirement from competition in 1968, Jerome accepted a position in the federal government’s Fitness and Amateur Sport Directorate, the precursor of today’s Sport Canada. There, he worked to promote amateur sport and fitness on behalf of Canadians, as well as government sponsorship for amateur athletes.
Jerome died suddenly of a brain aneurysm on December 7, 1982. His inspirational career led to numerous honours during his lifetime and posthumously. Jerome was inducted into both Canada’s Olympic Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Jerome is also the namesake of one of Canada’s premier international amateur track and field competitions, the Harry Jerome International Track Classic. Harry Winston Jerome was designated a national historic person in 2009.
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