Archie Mackinnon, right, with the 1956 Olympic gold medal winning coxless fours team

Archibald MacKinnon

golden leaf icon for Hall of Fame

Team Canada Medal Count

Gold medal icon 1
Silver medal icon 1
Bronze medal icon 0


Archie MacKinnon was initially a spare on the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) coxed eights crew and as part of their training they competed at the Canadian Olympic Trials in the coxless fours, which they won, and went on to represent Canada at Melbourne 1956. In the Olympic final, it was no contest in the race for gold. MacKinnon with the “Cinderella 4” teammates of Donald Arnold, Walter d’Hondt, and Lorne Loomer took the lead at the half-way point, winning by 10 seconds over the Americans. It was Canada’s first Olympic gold medal in rowing. At Rome 1960, MacKinnon was on the Canadian crew that was represented by the UBC’s men’s eight crew and were by no means favourites to win the gold medal. In the Olympic final, the Canadian team remained even with the favoured boat until, with 200m to go, the Germans pressed ahead, and MacKinnon won a silver medal, with teammates Arnold, d’Hondt, David Anderson, Sohen Biln, Nelson Kuhn, John Lecky, Bill McKerlich, and Glen Mervyn. It was Canada’s only medal of the Games. 

In the men’s eights at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, MacKinnon along with his gold medal winning coxless fours team at Melbourne 1956 won the gold medal, the Canadian team dominating the competition.

MacKinnon graduated from UBC with a degree in electrical engineering and from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto with a Masters of Business Administration. He rose to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer at SutterHill Capital Corporation, engaged in investment banking for the telecommunications and energy sector.

Along with his gold medal winning crew, MacKinnon was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1957, Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1958, British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 1966, University of British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, and Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame in 2018.  He was inducted a second time into the British Columbia (1977) and University of British Columbia (2012) Sports Halls of Fame for his Rome 1960 Olympic achievement. 

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
Melbourne 1956RowingCoxless FoursGold
Rome 1960RowingCoxed EightsSilver