Ed Archibald

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Competed in Intercalated Games • Other
Full nameEdward Blake "Ed"•Archibald
Used nameEd•Archibald
Born29 March 1884 in Toronto, Ontario (CAN)
Died20 March 1965 in Toronto, Ontario (CAN)
Measurements182 cm / 77 kg
AffiliationsVarsity Blues, Toronto (CAN) / Toronto West End YMCA, Toronto (CAN)
NOC Canada
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


Ed Archibald first gained attention for his athletic prowess in 1905 when, as a student at the University of Toronto, he set an intercollegiate pole vault record of 10-2¼ (3.10) and, later, a world record of 12-5½ (3.79). He was Canadian champion in the event in 1906, which led to his selection to represent his country at the 1906 Intercalated Olympic Games. His pole was lost during the journey to Athens, however, and the replacement given to him by Greek officials broke and destroyed his confidence; he finished joint-10th and last, alongside Bert Kerrigan of the United States. He also competed in the “athletic pentathlum”, an event meant to imitate the events of the Ancient Greek pentathlon, and was seventh after four disciplines, one position shy of qualifying for the final. Graduating from the University of Toronto in 1907, he continued to compete as a member of the Toronto West End YMCA and, in 1908, won the Canadian, British, and Amateur Athletic Union pole vault titles. He was then sent to represent Canada at the 1908 Summer Olympics, also serving as the nation’s flagbearer in the Opening Ceremony, and came home with a bronze medal, shared with Bruno Söderström of Sweden and Clare Jacobs of the United States, after jumping 11-9 (3.58).

Prior to World War I Archibald worked as prospector and remained athletically active, at one point holding the Canadian record for the shot put with 38-4 (11.68). Heavily involved with the YMCA, in 1915 he was sent overseas to direct recreation and sports programs for the soldiers. Upon his return he worked in the sports department of The Ottawa Journal, received a patent on a design for military equipment, served on Ontario’s provincial Athletic Commission, and, as President of the club, helped the Ottawa Amateur Athletic Federation open a sporting store. In 1924 he established a boy’s summer camp near Lake Wanapitei, Sudbury and, during World War II, once again worked through the YMCA for the war effort, this time in Canada. He was inducted into the University of Toronto Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, having also competed at the school as a gymnast.

Personal Best: PV – 3.79 (1908).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1906 Intercalated Games Athletics CAN Ed Archibald
Pole Vault, Men (Intercalated) =10
Pentathlon (Ancient), Men (Intercalated) 7
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Ed Archibald
Pole Vault, Men (Olympic) =3 Bronze
Discus Throw, Men (Olympic) DNS
Discus Throw, Greek Style, Men (Olympic) DNS
Hammer Throw, Men (Olympic) DNS
Javelin Throw, Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1908 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony CAN Ed Archibald