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Abby Hoffman

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameAbigail Golda "Abby"•Hoffman
Used nameAbby•Hoffman
Born11 February 1947 in Toronto, Ontario (CAN)
Measurements175 cm / 57 kg
AffiliationsToronto Olympic Club, Toronto (CAN)
NOC Canada


Abby Hoffman was a Canadian athlete who overcame gender discrimination to play hockey (ice) as a young girl, before turning to track. She eventually competed in four Olympic Games (1964-76), running the 800 metres at each and the 400 in 1964. Hoffman was Canadian Champion in the 400 in 1963-64, and the 800 in 1962-66, 1968-69, and 1974. She was a five-time medalist at the Pan American Games, winning gold medals in the 800 in 1963 and 1971, silver in the 800 in 1975, and bronzes in the 800 in 1967 and the 1,500 in 1975. She was gold medalist in the 880 yd at the 1966 British Empire Commonwealth Games, and won two medals at the Summer Universiade, both in the 800 metres, with a silver in 1967, and bronze in 1965.

Hoffman later became a well-known promoter of women in sports in Canada. From 1981-91 she was the first woman to serve as Director General of Sport Canada. In 1981 she was the first woman elected to the Executive Committee of the Canadian Olympic Association. With Maureen McTear, Hoffman sponsored the first Canadian women’s championships in ice hockey, and the Abby Hoffman Cup, presented to the champion, is named in her honor. She later became a senior advisor to Health Canada, and served as executive coordinator for their pharmaceutical strategies.

Hoffman was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982. In 2004 she was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2007, into the Jewish Canadian Athletes Hall of Fame. In 2015, she was given an honorary Doctorate of Laws, from her alma mater, the University of Toronto.

Personal Bests: 400 – 54.1 (1963); 800 – 2:00.17 (1972).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Abby Hoffman
400 metres, Women (Olympic) 7 h2 r1/3
800 metres, Women (Olympic) 8 h1 r1/3
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Abby Hoffman
800 metres, Women (Olympic) 7
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Abby Hoffman
800 metres, Women (Olympic) 8
1976 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Abby Hoffman
800 metres, Women (Olympic) 5 h1 r1/3

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
1976 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony CAN Abby Hoffman

Special Notes