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Peter Salmon

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full namePeter Alexander•Salmon
Used namePeter•Salmon
Born3 August 1929 in Victoria, British Columbia (CAN)
Died11 October 2003 in Eugene, Oregon (USA)
AffiliationsVictoria Y.M.C.A., Victoria (CAN) / Washington Huskies, Seattle (USA)
NOC Canada


Peter Salmon took up swimming at the start of World War II, when he was 10-years old. His international début, therefore, had to wait until the 1948 London Olympics, where he was eliminated in the opening rounds of the 100 metres freestyle, the 200 metres breaststroke, and the 4x200 metres freestyle relay, the latter alongside Doug Gibson, Eric Jubb, and Allen Gilchrist. He had more luck at the 1950 British Empire Games, where he won the 110 yards freestyle event and came in second in the 3x110 yards medley relay, with Gilchrist and Lucien Beaumont. He also qualified for the final of the 110 yards backstroke, but did not start the race, and came in fourth in the 4x220 yards freestyle relay, alongside Gilchrist, Leo Portelance, and the non-Olympian Jim Portelance. In addition to setting 16 Canadian national records, he set a National Collegiate Athletic Association record in the 50 yard freestyle event in 1951 after accepting a scholarship to the University of Washington. He was named Victoria, British Columbia’s best athlete in 1947 and Canada’s top swimmer in 1948.

Salmon married an American woman in 1953 and decided to settle in the country after his competitive career was over. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota in 1962 and worked as a professor of surgery at the school until 1966, when he joined the faculty of the University of Alberta. He remained there until his 1994 retirement, after which he returned permanently to the United States in 1999. He was made a member of the British Columbia (1983), University of Washington (1990), and Greater Victoria (2000) Sports Halls of Fame.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) CAN Peter Salmon
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 4 h6 r1/3
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada 6 h2 r1/2
200 metres Breaststroke, Men (Olympic) 7 h2 r1/3
1952 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) CAN Peter Salmon
100 metres Freestyle, Men (Olympic) 32
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada DNS
100 metres Backstroke, Men (Olympic) 33

Special Notes