These candid shots from the London Free Press show the emotion and excitement as the Mustangs competed against the Tillsonburg Livingstons for the right to represent Canada at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. The Mustangs had previously competed in the 1948 trial in Toronto and placed third overall. In 1952, the Mustangs faced the University of Alberta’s Golden Bears to win the Canadian intercollegiate championship. To get to the Olympics, the Mustangs needed to win a best-of-five playoff against the Livingstons.
Sponsored by Tillsonburg entrepreneur Gerry Livingston, the Livingstons had eliminated Windsor, Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, Montreal, and Winnipeg.
Ironically, the team included six former Mustangs: Bob Phibbs, Harry Wade, Chuck Dalton, Gord Davidson, George Wearring, and Paul Thomas.
A new basketball floor was installed in the Tillsonburg arena by employees of the Livingston factory and 4,000 filled the arena for the games. The Livingstons won the first two games 79-65 and 76-69, the Mustangs won the third by one point, but lost 87-75 in the final game.