Doug Rogers’ interest in judo began in high school and took him to Japan in 1960 where, despite being accepted into McGill University, he chose to study at the Kodokan Institute in Japan. Finding a job teaching English, he spent over three years training and, in 1964, won his first of three consecutive titles in the heavyweight division at the Canadian Championships. He was selected for that year’s Summer Olympics and breezed through his opponents, losing only in the final against an old sparring partner, Isao Inokuma of Japan, and taking home a silver medal.
Rogers began training full time with the legendary Masahiko Kimura and continued his success on the international scene. He won gold and bronze at the 1965 Pan American and World Championships respectively, and followed those medals up with gold and silver in the open and heavyweight divisions at the 1967 Pan American Games (losing to Allen Coage of the United States in the latter). With no judo at the 1968 Summer Olympics or the 1971 Pan American Games, his competitive career stagnated, but he returned in 1972 to win one more Canadian Championship and attend that year’s Summer Games, where he was joint fifth in both the open and heavyweight classes. He had a brief coaching career at the University of British Columbia, from 1975 through 1977, but mainly focused on his other passion, flying, and had a long career as an airline pilot. He has been inducted into the British Columbia (1976) and Canada’s (1977) Sports Halls of Fame.