Harold Wright

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Administrator
Full nameHarold Madison•Wright
Used nameHarold•Wright
Born10 December 1908 in Winnipeg, Manitoba (CAN)
Died11 December 1997 in Vancouver, British Columbia (CAN)
Measurements178 cm / 68 kg
NOC Canada


Harold Wright was nationally known as a talented sprinter in his youth and was eventually selected to represent Canada at the 1932 Summer Olympics in the 100 m, 200 m, and 4×100 m relay events. He reached the semifinals of the former two races, and placed fourth alongside Bert Pearson, Jim Brown, and Percy Williams out of eight squads in the 4x100. He began to take an interest in geology after an encounter with teammate Doral Pilling and eventually earned a Bachelors of Science (geological engineering) from the University of Utah (on an athletic scholarship) and Masters degrees (metallurgical engineering and geology) from the University of British Columbia. He retired from active competition shortly thereafter and founded Wright Engineers in 1947 and Western Mines in 1951.

Wright’s Olympic saga, however, was far from over. When his son began playing field hockey, he got himself involved as well and eventually served as President of the Canadian Field Hockey Association from 1966 through 1969, at which point he was voted to the presidency of the Canadian Olympic Association. He held this position through 1977 and was instrumental in Montreal’s successful bid to host the 1976 Summer Olympics. He also founded the Olympic Trust, which helps provide funding for Canadian Olympic athletes, and governed it until his death in 1997. Somewhat concurrently with his role at the COA, he served as director of the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada (1972-1977), and played a major role in getting this tournament to Edmonton in 1978. In addition, he helped found the Olympic Club of Canada for ex-competitors, directed the B.C. Amateur Sports Council, and governed Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 for his contributions to Canada, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada the same year (and promoted to Companion in 1986), and was given the Olympic Order in Silver in 1979. He is a member of the Canadian Amateur Sports Hall of Fame (1987), the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame (2003), and the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.

Personal Bests: 100 – 10.4 (1932); 200 – 21.7 (1932).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics CAN Harold Wright
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 6 h2 r3/4
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 4 h2 r3/4
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada 4
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Canada DNS

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
President Canadian Olympic Committee 1969—1977 CAN Harold Wright

Olympic family relations

Special Notes