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Billy Burns

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam Lawrie "Billy"•Burns
Used nameBilly•Burns
Born24 March 1875 in East Oxford, Ontario (CAN)
Died6 October 1953 in Winnipeg, Manitoba (CAN)
Measurements180 cm / 73 kg
AffiliationsShamrock Lacrosse Team, Winnipeg (CAN)
NOC Canada


An all-around athlete and star lacrosse player, Billy Burns was one of the most experienced members of the Shamrock Lacrosse Team that won the gold medal at the 1904 Summer Olympics. Born in Ontario, he moved to Winnipeg in 1883 where he excelled in numerous athletic endeavors, became the provincial pole jumping champion, and earned records in several sprinting distances. He also played football, but it was lacrosse that truly captured his enthusiasm and for many years he was a member of the city’s Capitol Lacrosse club. Arguably his most notable accomplishment, however, came as a member of the 1903 Provincial Championship-winning Shamrocks, a victory that helped earn them a trip to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Burns’ squad was easily the best at the tournament and handily beat the St. Louis Amateur Athletic Association’s team 8-2 in the final. At the age of 22 he joined the Canadian Pacific Railway company and soon rose to the rank of conductor, serving in that capacity for 43 years until his retirement in 1941. He was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, along with the rest of his gold medal-winning team, in 2004.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1904 Summer Olympics Lacrosse CAN Billy Burns
Lacrosse, Men (Olympic) Winnipeg Shamrocks 1 Gold