Jimmy Ball

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJames Allan "Jimmy"•Ball
Used nameJimmy•Ball
Born7 May 1903 in Dauphin, Manitoba (CAN)
Died2 July 1988 in Victoria, British Columbia (CAN)
Measurements180 cm / 69 kg
Affiliations?, Winnipeg (CAN)
NOC Canada
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 2
Total 3


Jimmy Ball rose to prominence on the Canadian track and field scene while studying pharmacy at the University of Manitoba. In 1927 he became the national champion in the 440 yards and the mile relay, before setting a Canadian record of 49.4 seconds in the 400 metres at the trials for the 1928 Summer Olympics. Less than an hour later, he broke that record with a mark of 48.6 seconds. At the 1928 Games he won a silver medal in the 400 m, behind Ray Barbuti of the United States, in a Canadian-record time of 48.0 seconds. He also earned bronze in the 4x400 metre relay alongside Phil Edwards, Stan Glover, and Alex Wilson. After breaking the Canadian record in the 300 yards at the 1929 national indoor championships, his next stop was the inaugural 1930 British Empire Games, where he took silver in the 4x440 yard relay with Glover, Wilson, and the non-Olympian Art Scott. He was also fifth in the 220 and 440 yards.

Ball was able to make Canada’s Olympic delegation a second time, in 1932, where he repeated his bronze medal-winning performance in the 4x400 m relay, this time alongside Edwards, Wilson and Ray Lewis. He was also eliminated in the semifinals of the 400 m. In 1933 he received the Norton H. Crowe trophy as Canada’s top athlete and won a second national title in the mile relay. He earned his third and final Canadian crown in the event in 1935, after which he retired from active competition. He was made a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1959 and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.

Personal Best: 400 – 47.9e (1929).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1928 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Jimmy Ball
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada 3 Bronze
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Jimmy Ball
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 6 h2 r3/4
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada DNS
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada 3 Bronze

Special Notes