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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Glenda Reiser, Track and Field
Even today there is no mistaking Glenda Reiser’s No. 1 thrill in track and field. Her voice takes on an infectious enthusiasm whenever “her race” is mentioned and that means numerous repetitions — the race is 14 years old in September.
Yet Reiser, herself, has never seen a rerun of her historic four minutes of Olympic history — the first women’s metres ever to be staged with 10C approval.
“I must get hold of Hub Beaurdy when I get back. He must have it, but it probably is on micro-film,” she said before leaving on an extended holiday.
Principals in the Olympic chase were veteran Soviet Lyudmila Bragina and a 17 year old Canadian. Glenda Reiser, who holds a refreshing “dam-the-torpedoes, full speed ahead theory”, on Olympic running. She defends her point with the Olympic motto — Citius, Altius, Fortius.
Glenda had opportunity to put her theory to the test in that 1,500 metres as Bragina, who had lowered the 1,500 metres standard to 4:06.9 (six weeks before) took the field through what Reiser felt was a fast 800. She was back with the pack and figured now has the time to make her move in order to reach her objective, the semi-finals. And she took off after Bragina.
“It was an exhilarating experience,” said Glenda “to see the ground closing between us. I didn’t even feel fatigue.”
The Uplands Harrier runner didn’t give too much thought to attempting to pass Bragina as she had her semi-final objective and a world record time of 4:06.71 , just .24 off Bragina’s second world mark. Bragina was to cut the time to 4:01.4 in the gold medal run.
Reiser’s 4:06.71 was to remain the Canadian standard for 12 years, as unusual length of time for any record to survive in this era. In fact, she came close to revising the mark when she ran 4:07.6 for a Commonwealth Games gold medal against the clock at Christchurch, New Zealand in 1974.
At the moment she is somewhere between New Zealand, Australia, the Fiji Islands, the Cook Islands and Hawaii on her previously mentioned holiday that she had promised herself during her 1974 visit for the Commonwealth Games.
She just recently finished a two-year contract as a family physican in Engelhart, Ontario, and she enjoyed the challenge. But before there is more doctoring, there is another trip on Glenda’s agenda. That’s to Japan, China and Hong Kong probably in September.
Closer to home, Reiser, probably Canada’s outstanding middle distance runner, was named athlete of the year for 1972 and the honour came the first time she appeared on the eligibility list. She probably had better qualifications for athlete of the year honours in both 1973 and 1974, but neither had Munich.
Reiser had 20 athletes from 17 sports as rivals for the 1972 title. They included trampoline exponent Peter Rogers, Boxing’s Paul Seguin and Colin McAlpine from tennis.
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (BOB MAKI TROPHY)
Dave Waddell, badminton, sailing
“Biggest damn surprise of my life”, recalled Dave Waddell, named sportsman of the year for 1972 at the Associated Canadian Travellers Sports Dinner.
The few badminton people who knew did their job well, and they had the perfect foil in Waddell.
They suggested to him that he was wanted at the dinner to accept an award for his prize pupil, Barb O’Brien, who was in Europe competing and would not be back in the city in time to receive the award herself.
All of that was quite true. They just didn’t tell him the whole truth.
“I got provincial recognition for my contribution to sports, but I think the Bob Maki Trophy was the bigger thrill”, said the veteran.
Waddell, now married to Dr. Barbara Gowitzke, professor of Bio-Mechanics at McMaster University, is well into a second career at a Jack Benny 39 — and he’s enjoying every minute.
Badminton, Waddell’s favorite sport, provided the impetus and he and his wife began with that sport investigating the technique of the badminton stroke. Their findings indicated the actual stroke differed from accepted theories and many countries have adjusted their coaching manuals to take in the new information.
They have been on the go ever since experimenting, investigating and talking about an ever widening sports horizon.
He’s also met old acquaintances including Denmark badminton great Erland Kops, whom he had at a Fisher Park exhibition in the 1950s.
Kops was in Toronto for last year’s ill-fated Masters Games — they weren’t financially solvent. He will be chairman of the next set of competitions for the geritol set.
Meanwhile, Waddell and his wife have found they’re prophets without honor in their own country. Neither the CABA nor the Ontario association has asked the pair expound on their findings before familiar home faces.
Before he left Ottawa, Waddell left a large imprint on the badminton scene. The courts at the RA complex were designed on his instructions and he also now has a tournament named after him, that will take some getting used to, he concedes. The problem is that as the guest of honor he has to sit down and watch.
He’ll have trouble doing that.
Boxing — Paul Seguin
Badminton — Barb O’Brien
Curling — Keith Forgues, Jim Patrick, Barry Provost, Eldon Coombe
Cycling — Judy Dietiker
Equestrian — Wendy Irvine
Figure Skating — Lynn Nightingale
Hockey — Bunny Larocque
Judo — Allyn Takahashi
Paddling — John Edwards
Rugby — Mike Alder
Skiing — Peter Wilson
Speed Skating — Gerry Cassan
Soccer — Gunther Jastremski
Track and Field — Glenda Reiser
Tennis — Colin McAlpine
Trampoline — Peter Rogers
Wrestling — Claude Pilon
Water Skiing — Pat Messner
One would have thought that Mike Alder, a veterinarian and a rugby player to boot, would be ready for any emergency, but he was thunderstruck by the Sportsman’s Dinner. “At home we are lucky to get our names in the paper, let alone having it spelled right”… Alder played for Canada against the touring Barbarians and has since returned to England… Ottawa Curling Club’s Keith Forgues, Jim Patrick, Barry Provost and Eldon Coombe got to the Brier at St. John’s, Newfoundland, but not without dramatics… They won a four-rink playoff that went into the wee small hours of the morning… To prove his 1971 goaling record was no fluke Bunny Larocque came back to the dinner as hockey representative… Bunny was the second goalie to post a back-to-back double. Roger Fortin, of St. Pat’s accomplishing the feat the first two years of the ACT Dinner… Carleton Place paddling got a boost when John Edwards was named to the national team. Edward’s club claims to be the country’s oldest canoe racing club, but they’ll get an argument from the Lachine Racing Canoe Club who include rowing in their history… Judy Dietiker, a member of both the national speed skating team and the national cycling team in the early 1970’s is still going strong… She’s the first woman president in the 104 years of the Ottawa Bicycle Club… They have 750 members now and expect to break the thousand… Competitively, she won two national track championships and one road crown between 1972-74.
Brookfield High School graduate Susan Buchanan was a member of the first full women’s gymnastics team ever to compete in the Olympics when they stepped on the floor at Munich. They missed the top ten by one slot. Buchanan, now a Vancouver resident and married to Rusty Pierce, carried Canadian colours to the world championships at Lbjlana Yugoslavia, in 1970 where the Canadians finished in 13th place… A Canadian university all-round title plus domination of Ontario women’s collegiate gymnastics earned her a spot in York University’s Hall of Fame… A brother, the late Jim Buchanan, qualified for the Montreal Games as Canada’s first 26-foot plus long jumper.