Joe Wright, Sr.

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJoseph Walter Harris "Joe"•Wright, Sr.
Used nameJoe•Wright, Sr.
Born14 January 1864 in Villanova, Ontario (CAN)
Died28 October 1950 in Toronto, Ontario (CAN)
Measurements75 kg
AffiliationsArgonaut Rowing Club, Toronto (CAN)
NOC Canada


At the turn of the century, Joe Wright Sr. was arguably the most famous rower on the Canadian national scene. A lifelong member of the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club, he won over 130 national titles during his extensive career, as well as medals at two editions of the Summer Olympics, taking silver and bronze in the in the coxed eights at the 1904 and 1908 Games respectively. Between 1885 and 1895 he also helped capture numerous American titles and, in 1905, won Canada’s Henley Royal Regatta. He retired from active competition after his second Olympics, well into his 40s at the time, and took up coaching with his beloved club. He also spent 10 years as a coach with the University of Pennsylvania’s rowing team and guided his son, Joe Wright, Jr. to a victory in the Diamond Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta (then the equivalent of a world championship in the single sculls) and an Olympic silver medal in the double sculls in 1928. Also successful as an amateur in other sports, he was Canadian heavyweight boxing champion in 1897 and national heavyweight wrestling champion in 1899, spent 18 years on the Toronto Argonauts football squad, and was the Toronto champion in the shot put and hammer throw in 1888. In 1950, the year of his death, he was named Canada’s outstanding oarsman of the half-century, despite having been 36 when it began.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1904 Summer Olympics Rowing CAN Joe Wright, Sr.
Eights, Men (Olympic) Toronto Argonauts 2 Silver
1908 Summer Olympics Rowing CAN Joe Wright, Sr.
Eights, Men (Olympic) Toronto Argonauts =3 Bronze

Olympic family relations