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Gaétan Boucher

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 4
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameGaétan T.•Boucher
Used nameGaétan•Boucher
Born10 May 1958 in Charlesbourg, Québec (CAN)
Measurements171 cm / 72 kg
AffiliationsSkating Club Norbec/Skating Club Montréal
NOC(s) Canada

Biography

In an era where speed skating was not a popular sport in Canada, Gaétan Boucher’s first calling on the ice was hockey but, after winning his first Canadian Championship at the age of 14, he realized that speed skating was his future and participated in his first Winter Olympics in 1976, at the age of 17. At his next attempt, in 1980, he took home the silver medal in the 1,000m event, one of only two Canadian medals at those Games. In 1983 he suffered from illness and a broken ankle and it was believed that his career was coming to a close but, at the 1984 Winter Olympics, where he was the Canadian flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, he came back and won gold medals in the 1,000 and 1,500m events and bronze in the 500m. His became the first Canadian male to win an individual gold medal at the Winter Olympics, as well as claiming the most medals won by a Canadian athlete at a single Olympics (he was later surpassed by Cindy Klassen in this regard) and accolades for his feat quickly followed. He appeared in one more Winter Olympic, in 1988, where the lingering effects of his ankle injury prevented him from reaching the podium, and retired after the game.

Champion at the 1984 World Sprint Championships and winner of six World Championship events from 1981 through 1985, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1983 and promoted to Officer the following year. In 1984 he won the Oscar Mathisen Award, given annually for exemplary speed skating performance, and the Lou Marsh Trophy, given annually to Canada’s top athlete and was inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. The following year was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. Since his retirement, he has worked as a French-language broadcaster and designed skates for Bauer. He was ranked number 10 on Canada’s Athletes of the 20th Century and continues to inspire speed skaters in Canada to this day.

Personal Bests: 500 – 37.22 (1985); 1000 – 1:12.74 (1985); 1500 – 1:53.60 (1988); 5000 – 7:23.61 (1982); 10000 – 15:56.4 (1982).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1976 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Olympic 14 Representing Canada    
  1,000 metres, Men Olympic 6
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 14
1980 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Olympic 8 Representing Canada    
  1,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 15
1984 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Olympic 3 Bronze Representing Canada    
  1,000 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
1988 Winter Olympics Speed Skating (Skating) 500 metres, Men Olympic 14 Representing Canada    
  1,000 metres, Men Olympic 5
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 9

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1976 Winter Olympics 12 February 1976 Speed Skating (Skating) 1,000 metres, Men Final Standings 1:21.23 6

Other participations

Games Role Details
1984 Winter Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Representing Canada    

Special Notes