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Duncan McNaughton

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDuncan Anderson•McNaughton
Used nameDuncan•McNaughton
Born7 December 1910 in Cornwall, Ontario (CAN)
Died15 January 1998 in Austin, Texas (USA)
Measurements193 cm / 80 kg
AffiliationsUSC Trojans, Los Angeles (USA)
NOC Canada


Duncan McNaughton was a provincial champion in basketball in British Columbia and a track star whose first major international experience came at the 1930 British Empire Games, where he was disqualified from the high jump for using an illegal technique. After a year at the University of British Columbia, he entered the University of Southern California in 1930 and undertook proper athletic training while earning a degree in geology (having switched from his initial interest in medicine). His efforts paid off and he was selected to represent Canada at the 1932 Summer Olympics, where he found himself in a four-way tie for first place with Corny Johnson, Simeon Toribio, and McNaughton’s friend at USC Bob Van Osdel in the high jump. In the tie-breaking round, none of the competitors were able to clear 2.00 or 1.99 metres but, unlike the others, McNaughton was able to repeat his 1.97 metre performance and thus took the gold medal.

After tying for first place in the high jump at the 1933 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship, he graduated from USC and retired from active competition. He earned a masters’ degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1935 and a Ph.D. from USC. Between these two degrees he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. After several years as a visiting professor at USC, he began working as a geology consultant in the petroleum industry. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 and the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 1966. The Duncan A. McNaughton Memorial Grant is awarded annually to a graduate student by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Personal Best: HJ – 1.97 (1932).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Duncan McNaughton
High Jump, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold