Olympians

John Loaring

From: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Graduation Year:

  • 1940 BA (Business Administration)

Stats (results)

  • 1936 - Silver - Berlin

Awards/Honours:

  • Canadian Amateur Athletic Hall of Fame
  • UWO Athletic Hall of Fame

Loaring's classmates certainly chose a winner when they elected him as president of the freshman class in 1935-36. During the next four years, Loaring was a dedicated athlete, competing in cross country and leading the swim team to its first title in 1938-39. By the time he graduated, Loaring was an Olympic medalist and in an event he tried just a few months prior to the Olympics. 

The first time Loaring competed in the 400m hurdles happened to be at the 1936 Canadian Championships and Olympic Trials in Montreal. He broke the Canadian record, qualifying him for a spot in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.  The day after his twenty-first birthday, Loaring participated in the finals for the 400m hurdles.  He won a silver medal in this event and was only 0.3 seconds behind the first place runner, who was the world record holder for the event.  Loaring couldn't take much time to celebrate, though, as he still had three more days of races ahead of him.

John Loaring

Loaring competing at the 1938 British Empire Games. Source: the Loaring family.

On August 6, he ran the 400m and qualified for the semi-finals and finals the next day, in which he placed sixth.  The following day he ran anchor for the  relay team.  In the final, the third Canadian runner was fouled by the American runner, causing Canada and Germany to finish with the same time.  The Canadians did not protest the foul and Germany was awarded third place.

John Loaring - 1936 Olympics

Loaring competing in the finals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Source: the Loaring family.

Loaring had several more international successes after the Olympics, including three gold medals in the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney, Australia. Loaring was unable to compete at any future Olympics, as the next two games were cancelled because of the Second World War.

In 1940, Loaring arranged to write his university exams early, so that he could join the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Radar Officers. During his time overseas, Loaring served as radar officer of HMCS Fiji and senior technical instructor for Radar Officers in Portsmouth, England.  In 1943, he returned to Canada, where he served as head of Canada's Radar Training School in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec and in 1946-47, he was commanding officer of HMCS Hunter