June 19th, 2024

Olympic gold medals won by Percy Williams replaced 43 years after theft

By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press on February 24, 2023.

Photo of runner Percy Williams seen July 28,1932. THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER – A pair of historic gold medals have been replaced more than 40 years after the originals won by Canadian sprinter Percy Williams at the 1928 Olympics were stolen.

The Canadian Olympic Committee presented Williams’ extended family with the newly minted medals at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame on Friday.

The medals, which were recreated using the specifications of the originals, were then donated to the Hall of Fame as part of a display about the athlete’s legacy.

Williams took first place in the 100 and 200-metre races at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam, becoming just the third athlete in history to win both events.

The Vancouver native donated a trove of his belongings – including the gold medals – to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. The medals were stolen weeks later and never recovered.

Williams, who died in 1982, was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1949 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 before being made an Officer of Canada in 1979.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2023.

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