Photo Credit: Harry Jerome – Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame; Georgette Reed – Regina Sports Hall of Fame
Harry Jerome – Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (1971), Canadian Amateur Athletic Hall of Fame (1967), BC Sports Hall of Fame (1966)
Athletes competing at track and field events in Prince Albert have likely done so at the track named after sprinter Harry Jerome, an Olympic bronze medallist, Order of Canada recipient and inductee into multiple sport halls of fame.
Jerome was born in Prince Albert on Sept. 30, 1940 and moved to Vancouver in the early 1950s. It was there that he first got involved in track and field, a sport in which he excelled and that took him to competitions around the world.
At 18, Jerome broke a 31-year-old record for the men’s 220-yard race and the highlights just kept coming. He qualified for the 100-metre sprint event at the 1960 Rome Olympics with a time of 10 seconds at the Olympic Trials, which, at the time, tied the world record. Unfortunately, Jerome pulled a thigh muscle in the qualifying heats at the Games and didn’t advance to the finals.
In the years between Rome and the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Jerome tied the world record for the 100-yard race with a time of 9.3 seconds in 1961 and also tied the world record for the 4×110-yard relay as the anchor for the University of Oregon team in 1962.
He again represented Canada at the Olympics in 1964, this time making it all the way to the 100-m final where he claimed bronze. Two years later, Jerome again tied the new world record of 9.1 seconds in the 100-m race while competing at the Canadian Commonwealth Games Trials. Later that year, while at the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica, he won gold in the same event.
Jerome also added a 100-m gold medal at the 1967 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg and represented Canada at the Olympics one last time at the 1968 Games in Mexico.
Outside of his own competing, Jerome worked to get youth involved in sport, working on the National Fitness and Amateur Sport Program in 1968 and directing British Columbia’s Premier’s Sport Award Program in the early 80s.
For his efforts on and off the field of play, Jerome was named an Office of the Order of Canada in 1970 and B.C.’s male athlete of the 20th century.
Georgette Reed – Regina Sports Hall of Fame (2019)
Swimming and water polo were the top sport choices for Georgette Reed early in her career, but a switch to track and field while attending Washington State University in the late 1980s catapulted the Regina-born athlete onto the national and international sport stage and into the record books.
Born on Jan. 26, 1967 to Saskatchewan Roughrider legend George Reed, Georgette represented Saskatchewan and Canada at multiple swimming and water polo events before transitioning to track and field in 1987, specializing in the shot put and discus events.
She was quick to make her mark on the two disciplines, finishing Top 3 in multiple national and international competitions. She won her first shot put gold at the 1990 Canadian National Track and Field Championships in Montreal before taking her talents to Barcelona for the 1992 Olympics, finishing 16th.
Reed continued to compete in athletics after Barcelona, earning multiple medals at Trials events, the Francophone Games, and other championships. She didn’t represent Canada at the Summer Olympics again, but a short bobsleigh stint in the early 2000s earned her an alternate spot for Canada’s 2002 Winter Olympic team.
More recently, Reed has returned to athletics, this time competing in the Masters category. She currently holds five Canadian Masters records, including the women’s 35-39 outdoor shot put (15.54-metres), women’s 45-49 outdoor shot put (11.94-m), women’s 40-44 indoor shot put (14.35-m) women’s 45-49 indoor shot put (11.95-m) and women’s 40-44 outdoor discus (38.15-m).
Reed has also taken to coaching the sport she excelled in, working as the track and field coach for the University of Alberta for a decade and assisting with many other teams and groups.
With files from Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, Regina Sports Hall of Fame and the Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum.