Canada’s Ian Hume excelled in many sports but his lifetime passion was track and field. He won his first gold medal in athletics at the age of 15 and went on to have a sporting career that lasted almost eight decades. He set masters world records in numerous events until the age of 85. Hume competed in seven World Championships winning 29 medals, including 13 gold, and set 40 world records in nine events, including the pentathlon and the decathlon. When he retired from active competition in 1999, Hume continued to hold more than 35 Canadian outdoor and indoor records at the masters level.
Hume graduated from Bishop’s University with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the age 19. He dedicated his life to amateur sports as an athlete, coach, official and administrator, locally, provincially, across Canada and internationally. He was chosen to be the Canadian representative to the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) at three Olympic Games (Munich 1972, Montréal 1976, Los Angeles 1984) and was past president of the Canadian Track and Field Association. Hume coached at the 1959 Pan American Games and the 1966 Commonwealth Games, and was a referee of the combined events at Montréal 1976. Along with countryman Don Farquharson and Americans Dave Pain and Bob Fine, Hume helped found the World Association of Veteran Athletes in the mid-1970s and then the first World Masters Championships in Toronto in 1975.
The son of the late Edward and Gertrude Hume, he was married to his wife Melita Fraser for 64 years, had six children and was a respected high school teacher of French, Latin and mathematics for 35 years. Hume was active in charitable projects such as the Red Feather and the Salvation Army.
The Ian Hume Track & Field Meet is held annually in Sherbrooke, Québec and the Ian Hume Award is given in his honour. Inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983 as a builder and as an athlete, Hume was made Member of the Order of Canada in 1981. In 1991, Hume received an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from Bishop’s University and in 1995, he was the recipient of the prestigious Dollard Morin Prize for Volunteerism and named to the RBC Wall of Distinction at Bishop’s University. In 2002, Hume received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his involvement in his community and with young athletes.