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Donald Farley

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDonald•Farley
Used nameDonald•Farley
Born4 June 1970 in Montréal, Québec (CAN)
Died19 November 2016 in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Québec (CAN)
Measurements178 cm / 74 kg
NOC Canada


Donald Farley joined the Canadian National cross country ski team in 1991. A native of Lorraine, Quebec, he competed in two Olympic Winter Games (1998, 2002) and was the only member of the men’s Canadian cross country ski team at the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002, where he competed in five events, with a best finish of 39th in the 50 km.

After an impressive international debut at the 1992 World Junior Championships in Austria, Farley was nominated to the senior national team, where he became one of the leading men on the Canadian team for the next decade. He scored his first World Cup points in January 1996 in Burns Lake, British Columbia, competed at five World Championships and 48 World Cup stages, and three-times broke into the top-30. In 2000, he won the 30 km at the US Championships in spite of a bout of mononucleosis. Farley was one of the most decorated skiers of all time at the Canadian National Championships winning 23 gold, 10 silver and 2 bronze.

Farley’s inspiration to become an Olympian came when he watched both the Olympic Games of 1984 on television – it was the biathlon from the Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo, and the cycling and swimming from Los Angeles, that motivated him to want to become an Olympian – he just didn’t know what sport.

While competing internationally full time, Farley took all his university courses online by correspondence, graduating from the University of Waterloo, having never stepped inside a classroom. He also paid all his expenses through the stock market and investments and part time jobs such as landscaping, tree planting and bottling beer. Known for his discipline, passion, intensity and competitive nature in sport and in life, Farley worked in the world of finance as an investment portfolio manager. He died at the young age of 46, while out cycling.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1998 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) CAN Donald Farley
30 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 61
50 kilometres, Men (Olympic) AC
4 × 10 kilometres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada 18
2002 Winter Olympics Cross Country Skiing (Skiing) CAN Donald Farley
Sprint, Men (Olympic) 43
15 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 46
30 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 45
50 kilometres, Men (Olympic) 39
10/10 kilometres Pursuit, Men (Olympic) DNS