Fred Meadows

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameFrederick "Fred"•Meadows
Used nameFred•Meadows
Born11 November 1886 in Rockwood, Eramosa township, Ontario (CAN)
Died17 December 1975 in Windsor, Ontario (CAN)
AffiliationsToronto West End YMCA, Toronto (CAN)
NOC Canada


By 1907 Fred Meadows was the Canadian champion in the five mile event and was gearing up to participate in athletics internationally. At the 1908 Summer Olympics he place sixth in the five mile event and also competed in the 1,500 m competition, although he failed to reach the final. Only a few months later, however, he was involved in a strange scandal involving his Olympic teammate Dave Beland of Quebec City.

In late October 1908 a runner by the name of “Walter Beland” won Quebec’s annual Telegraph Road Race. Prior to the race, however, the organizers, having never heard of “Walter Beland”, had become suspicious and began to investigate. It was soon discovered that “Walter Beland” was actually Fred Meadows, and that Dave Beland had altered documents to allow Meadows to compete as if he were from the province, so that he would be eligible to run in the Quebec City versus Montreal competition. Dave knew that Meadows, a former five-mile champion, would be able to give Quebec City the upper hand. To add credibility to the scheme, Dave also claimed that Meadows, who was now in the guise of “Walter Beland”, was his brother. Meadows, as “Walter Beland”, arrived in Quebec the night before the race and Dave instructed that no one was to visit him, claiming that his “brother” usually grew nervous before a race and required rest. The organizers became even more suspicious when “Walter” failed to greet his peers from Quebec City and attempted to hide his face with a hat. “Walter” disappeared immediately after, which again heightened suspicions.

By the end of the day, rumors were already spreading that “Walter Beland” had actually been Fred Meadows. After an inquiry proved this to be the case, both Meadows and Dave Beland were stripped of their amateur status, in Meadows’ case a consequence of having entered a competition under a name other than his own. He continued running as a professional and began entering marathons and long-distance races in May of 1909 and continued to compete through at least 1913.

Personal Bests: 1500 – unknown; 5 miles – 26:40.0 (1911).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Fred Meadows
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 h1 r1/2
5 miles, Men (Olympic) 6