Ray Lewis

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRaymond Gray "Ray"•Lewis
Used nameRay•Lewis
Nick/petnamesRapid Ray
Born8 October 1910 in Hamilton, Ontario (CAN)
Died14 November 2003 in Hamilton, Ontario (CAN)
Measurements186 cm / 74 kg
Affiliationsunattached, (MIX)
NOC Canada
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


The grandson of former slaves, Ray Lewis developed his athletic talents as a high school student and quickly distinguished himself from his peers. He came in fourth in the 400 metres at the Canadian trials for the 1928 Summer Olympics, but was not selected for the relay team. After winning four events at the national high school championships in 1929 (the 100, 200, and 440 yard dashes as well as at the mile relay) he entered Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but soon returned to Canada and began working as a porter with the Canadian Pacific Railroad. He continued training in his free time and, despite having to give up a month’s worth of pay to participate, attended the trials for the 1932 Summer Games, where he was successful in his attempt to make the Canadian team. At the Olympics he won a bronze medal in the 4x400 metre relay (alongside Jimmy Ball, Phil Edwards, and Alex Wilson) and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 400 metres. His next stop was the 1934 British Empire Games, where he captured silver in the 4x440 yards relay with Bill Fritz and the non-Olympians Joe Addison and Art Scott and was eliminated in the semifinals of the 440 yards.

Lewis retired from active competition after failing to qualify for the 1936 Summer Olympics and, after struggling against the climate of racism that pervaded the era, was able to leave portering and start up a cleaning business in 1952. In 1968 he became a chauffeur for George Kerr, a Canadian cabinet minister, and ended his career in 1988 as a court clerk in Hamilton, Ontario. He was recognized for his athletic accomplishments late in life, receiving the Order of Canada in 2001 and, following his death in 2003, an elementary school in Hamilton was named in his honor in 2005 and he was inducted into the Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. The first Ray Lewis Relays for high school students were held in 2013 in Ontario.

Personal Best: 400 – 48.5y (1934).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Ray Lewis
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h3 r2/4
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada DNS
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada 3 Bronze

Special Notes


Date of birth is uncertain. Commonwealth Games data also has a DOB of 24 October 1912, but multiple sources confirm the DOB listed above.