Wilhelm Weiler competing in gymnastics

Wilhelm Weiler

golden leaf icon for Hall of Fame


Wilhelm “Willie” Weiler competed at Tokyo 1964 in artistic gymnastics where his best result was 14th in the vault. He was involved in the three next Olympic Games as a coach (Mexico City 1968), a judge (Munich 1972) and judges’ official (Montréal 1976).

At the 1963 Pan American Games Weiler won a total of eight medals – three gold (all-around, floor, vault), four silver (parallel bars, pommel horse, horizontal bar, team), and one bronze (rings) – entering the Guinness World Book of Records.

Weiler had a lot of firsts in his gymnastics career: first North American athlete to perform the Yamashita vault in competition; first athlete to perform a piked back somersault dismount off the horizontal bars; first Canadian to perform a double back somersault from the still rings in competition; inventor of the “Weiler kip”, an in-bar move with a reverse grip front hip circle that casts to handstand.

Born in Germany to the son of a factory worker, Weiler started gymnastics in 1950 at the age of 14 and within six years became the German junior champion. In 1957, he immigrated to Canada and within six weeks was crowned the Canadian men’s senior all-around gymnastic champion, the first of his six titles won between 1958-66. Weiler joined the Canadian Forces in 1958 and became a Canadian citizen in 1962. He and his wife Fay moved to London, Ontario in 1981, where he became a physical education teacher at Wolseley Barracks until his retirement in 1991. Weiler stayed active in curling and golf.

Weiler was named winner of the Norton H. Crow Memorial Award for three consecutive years (1961, 1962, 1963) becoming the first athlete to accomplish that feat and was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1973. He was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1967, Amateur Athletic Union of Canada Hall of Fame in 1968, Canadian Forces Hall of Fame in 1971, and London Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

Faits saillants olympiques

Jeux Sport Épreuve Rang
1964 Tokyo Gymnastics - ArtisticIndividual All-Around - Men86
1964 Tokyo Gymnastics - ArtisticFloor Exercise - Men80
1964 Tokyo Gymnastics - ArtisticHorse Vault - Men14
1964 Tokyo Gymnastics - ArtisticParallel Bars - Men60
1964 Tokyo Gymnastics - ArtisticHorizontal Bar - Men105
1964 Tokyo Gymnastics - ArtisticRings - Men88
1964 Tokyo Gymnastics - ArtisticPommelled Horse - Men95