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Snowy Baker

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameReginald Leslie "Snowy"•Baker
Used nameSnowy•Baker
Born8 February 1884 in Surry Hills, New South Wales (AUS)
Died2 December 1953 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (USA)
Measurements178 cm
NOC Australasia
Nationality Australia


“Snowy” Baker is one of the greatest all-round athletes in Australian sporting history. He was considered of national calibre in no less than 29 sports and represented Australia internationally in five – rugby union, diving, boxing, swimming, and water polo – competing at the 1908 Olympics in boxing, diving, and swimming. From 1897-99 he won various school swimming championships, and played water polo for the East Sydney Swimming Club. In 1901, he finished second to Richard Cavill in the New South Wales (NSW) 880-yard freestyle championship. In 1904, as a scrum-half, he represented NSW in rugby union against Queensland and his impressive showing resulted in him being chosen to play twice for Australia against the touring Great Britain team. From 1905-06 he pulled an oar for the Mercantile Rowing Club in junior fours and eights. He was also considered a useful cricketer.

Baker entered the military in 1902 and competed in numerous military sports, including fencing, shooting, and wrestling. He began boxing in 1902 and was NSW middleweight champion by 1905. In 1906 he won the Australian middleweight and heavyweight titles on the same night. At the 1908 Olympics he competed in swimming, diving, and boxing. In middleweight boxing, he won a silver medal. His loss in the finals is the only time in his career he was defeated as a boxer.

Baker later became a well-known boxing referee. After World War I he moved to Hollywood where he became a famous equestrian and taught many movie stars to ride. He also was a director of the Riviera County Club, where the Los Angeles Open golf tournament is held, and where the 1932 Olympic equestrian events were contested. Baker designed the courses at Riviera for the 1932 Olympics. In addition, he starred in several movies in the US, after a film career in Australia, and also became a film producer. He was nicknamed Snowy because of his very light, blonde hair.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1908 Summer Olympics Boxing ANZ AUS Snowy Baker
Middleweight, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
Diving (Aquatics) ANZ AUS Snowy Baker
Springboard, Men (Olympic) 6 p4 r1/3
Swimming (Aquatics) ANZ AUS Snowy Baker
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
400 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Australasia 4

Special Notes