Name: George Hodgson
1912 Olympic Games, Stockholm, Gold 1500m Freestyle (WR), Gold 400m Freestyle
Born October 12, 1893 in Montreal, Quebec, George was Canada’s first Olympic gold medal winner in swimming. Having never lost a race, he accomplished great things during his short three year career, starting with a world record in the 1500m event at the Festival of Empire Games in London, now known as the Commonwealth Games.
As Canada’s lone swimmer, he then went on to win two gold medals at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games, becoming the first Canadian to win two Olympic gold medals. He won one of his gold medals in the 1500m where he broke the world and Olympic record not only for the 1500meter race but also, for the 1000 yards and meters and the one mile. His Olympic record in the 1500meter stood until 1924. His second gold medal was won in the 400 meter freestyle event. He was eighteen at the time and retired immediately after to serve in the British Royal Navy Air Service where he was honoured for making a number of rescues at sea. Canada had to wait until the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles to see another swimmer win two Olympic gold medals.
George Hodgson was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Sports Hall of Fame in 1949; the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968and has been an inaugural inductee to the McGill Sports Hall of Fame since 1996. He was also named honorary member of the Quebec swimming federation Hall of Fame in 1998. The Montreal Amateur Athletic Association considered George their greatest one-sport athlete. He passed away May 1, 1983.