Geoff Colyer

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameGeoffrey John "Geoff"•Colyer
Used nameGeoff•Colyer
Born18 May 1931 in Romford, England (GBR)
AffiliationsRoyal CC, London (GBR)
NOC Great Britain


Geoff Colyer only took up canoeing in 1951 and, before the year was out, he was the K-1 10,000 metres national champion, runner-up in the 1,000 metres to Roland Prout, and second with Graham Palmer in the K-2 10,000 metres. A member of the Royal Canoe Club, he went to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and competed in the K-1 1,000 and 10,000 events. He was seventh and last in his heat in the shorter distance, and classified 12th out of 17 starters in the 10K event. Just a month after the Games, however, Colyer won the K-1 500 and K-1 10,000 at the National Championships and was second to Ray Parker in the K-1 1,000.

In 1953 Colyer and Palmer won the kayak doubles at the Willesden Coronation Regatta. It was the first regatta on the famous Welsh Harp water, in the shadow of Wembley Stadium, for around 80 years. Colyer also won the K-1 event. Also that year, he beat a very strong Swedish contingent to win the K-1 10,000 metres Paddling Challenge Cup during the Kingston Regatta. In 1954 Colyer was serving in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and won the K-1 1,000 metres national title.

Colyer put himself in the frame for a second Olympic selection when he won both the K-1 and K-2 (with Ray Parker) at the season’s opening regatta on the Welsh Harp Sailing Club. Colyer did eventually get the call-up for the Melbourne Games but only as a reserve. The selectors were prepared to nominate Brian Bullivant, Ray Blick, Colyer and Patricia Moody for the GB team but, as the BOA could only sponsor two men and one woman, it was Colyer who was left out. Colyer later emigrated to Australia and in 2005 flew from his home in Australia to London for a gathering of around 600 British Olympians to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the BOA.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1952 Summer Olympics Canoe Sprint (Canoeing) GBR Geoff Colyer
Kayak Singles, 1,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 7 h1 r1/2
Canoe Marathon (Canoeing) GBR Geoff Colyer
Kayak Singles, 10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 12