Robert Wilson, third from back left, with the 1954 silver medal winning eights team

Robert Wilson

golden leaf icon for Hall of Fame

Médailles d’Équipe Canada

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Silver medal icon 1
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Rower Robert Wilson was a member of the University of British Columbia (UBC) men’s eights crew that was chosen to represent Canada at Melbourne 1956. Only half of the crew had any real rowing experience and with only a year to prepare for the Games, a competitive team was rebuilt and challenged for the Olympic gold medal. Wilson won a silver medal for Canada, behind the Americans by only two seconds, with teammates David Helliwell, Philip Kueber, Richard McClure, Douglas McDonald, Bill McKerlich, Carl Ogawa, Donald Pretty and Lawrence West. 

In winning the 1954 national eights title, Wilson and his crew of McDonald, West, Ken Drummond, Mike Harris, Ray Sierpina, Glen Smith, Tom Toynbee and Herman Zloklikovits went on to represent Canada at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games where they won the gold medal. The team split up after coming in second at the 1955 Henley Royal Regatta, but Wilson remained and earned his second national title in 1956. In 1958, he won his third national title and went on to defend his Commonwealth Games eights title.

Wilson started at UBC in 1953 and after graduating in 1959, he settled in Alberta and had a lengthy career in the oil industry. Along with his 1954 gold medal winning crew, Wilson was inducted into the University of British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 1999; and with his silver medal winning crew into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1958, British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and UBC Sports Hall of Fame in 2010; and individually into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

Faits saillants olympiques

Jeux Sport Épreuve Rang
1956 MelbourneRowingCoxed Eight - MenSilver