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Billy Sherring

Biographical information

Medals IG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Intercalated Games, Non-starter
Full nameWilliam John "Billy"•Sherring
Used nameBilly•Sherring
Born19 September 1877 in Hamilton, Ontario (CAN)
Died5 September 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario (CAN)
Measurements166 cm / 54 kg
AffiliationsSt. Patrick's AC, Hamilton (CAN)
NOC Canada


In the early 1900s, Billy Sherring was acknowledged to be the world’s premier marathoner. He had placed second behind Canadian Jack Caffery at the 1900 Boston Marathon, and had also won the Hamilton Round-the-Bay Marathon on two occasions. Sherring was chosen to represent Canada at the 1906 Olympics. However, it was left up to him to finance his journey to Athina, which was difficult as he worked as a brakeman for Grand Trunk Railway, and had few financial resources. Sherring managed to collect $90, which he then bet on a horse, Cicely, which won at 6-1 odds, and he had his stake for his Olympic dream.

Sherring arrived in Athina seven weeks before the 1906 Olympics, and began work as a porter at the railway station. Sherring led throughout the Olympic marathon, and after entering the stadium, Prince George of Greece ran the last 50 metres alongside him. Sherring received a live lamb and a statue of Athena as a reward. On his return to Canada, the Hamilton City Council awarded him $5,000 and the City of Toronto gave him $400. After the 1906 Olympics, Sherring retired from sport and worked as a Customs Officer in Hamilton until his retirement in 1942.

Personal Best: Mar – 2-51:24 (1906).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1904 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Billy Sherring
Marathon, Men (Olympic) DNS
1906 Intercalated Games Athletics CAN Billy Sherring
5 miles, Men (Intercalated) DNS
Marathon, Men (Intercalated) 1 Gold


Date of birth previously seen as 18 Sep 1878, but DOB listed herein is from Ontario Birth Records.