John Wood

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJohn Joseph•Wood
Used nameJohn•Wood
Born7 June 1950 in Toronto, Ontario (CAN)
Died25 January 2013 in Oakville, Ontario (CAN)
Measurements180 cm / 80 kg
AffiliationsMississauga CC, Mississauga (CAN)
NOC Canada
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


John Wood joined the Mississauga Canoe Club in the early 1960s and, at the age of 18, found himself competing for his native Canada at the 1968 Summer Olympics in the C2 1000 event alongside Scott Lee. A disqualification in the opening round did not deter him and, four years later, he returned to the Games, participating in the C2 1000 once again with Lee, where the duo was eliminated in the semifinals. He also took part in the C1 1000, where he was eliminated in the opening round and the repêchage. His next stop was the World Championships, where he finished 6th in the C1 1000 in 1974 and 5th in the C1 500 in 1975. His hard work finally paid off when he was selected to represent Canada at its home Olympics in 1976 and won national acclaim by taking silver in the C1 500, Canada’s first Olympic canoeing medal since 1952. This achievement became even more notable after the nation’s failure to win any gold medals during the Games. He also competed in the C2 500, this time with Gregory Smith as his partner, and finished 7th in the final.

Wood had one last hurrah by winning silver alongside Smith at the 1977 World Championships in the C2 500 and then retired from active competition, although he did win a bronze medal in sailing at the 1979 Pan American Games. His next endeavour was business and in this field he was arguably even more successful, starting off as a chartered accountant, but eventually taking on the role of stock broker. In 1986 he founded a financial company and, in less than a decade, brought its value from zero to over $4 billion through innovative investments. He provided Olympic canoeing commentary for the Canadian Broadcasting Company from 1980 through 1988 and remained active in both business and sports administration until his suicide in January 2013, after years of suffering from depression.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) CAN John Wood
Canadian Doubles, 1,000 metres, Men (Olympic) Scott Lee AC h2 r1/3
1972 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) CAN John Wood
Canadian Singles, 1,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 5 h1 r2/3
Canadian Doubles, 1,000 metres, Men (Olympic) Scott Lee 4 h2 r3/4
1976 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) CAN John Wood
Canadian Singles, 500 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
Canadian Doubles, 500 metres, Men (Olympic) Gregory Smith 7

Special Notes