Abby Hoffman

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Not to be confused with the American social and political activist Abbie Hoffman.
Abby Hoffman
2014 IAAF Council Meeting - Abby Hoffman (cropped).jpg
Hoffman at the 2014 IAAF Council Meeting
Personal information
Full name Abigail Hoffman
Born (1947-02-11) February 11, 1947 (age 67)
Toronto, Ontario
Sport
Country Canada

Abigail ("Abby") Hoffman, OC (born February 11, 1947) is a former Canadian track and field athlete.

Hockey[edit]

Born in Toronto, she learned to skate when she was three. When she was nine, she wanted to play hockey but there were no leagues for girls in the Toronto area. She cut her hair and registered herself as 'Ab Hoffman' in the boy's league. When it was discovered she was a girl, she was no longer allowed to play. Her parents took the case to the Ontario Supreme Court and the story was covered by Time Magazine and Newsweek.[1] She played for a St. Catharines, Ontario boys’ team in the newly formed Little Toronto Hockey League as a defenceman and was selected for an All-Star charity game.

Track and field[edit]

After her experiences with hockey, Abby participated in competitive swimming and then realized she was particularly suited to track and field, specifically 800-metre running. She competed in four Olympic Games: (1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976), four Pan American Games and two Commonwealth Games and was Canada's flag-bearer at the 1976 Games. Abby competed in two summer Universiades in 1965 and 1967, where she took home a bronze medal and a silver medal respectively in the 800 metre event. She won the gold medal in the 880-yard event at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games She finished 7th in the 800 metres at the Mexico Olympics; and in the 1972 Munich games she was 8th in a historic women's 800 metre race in which the entire field but 2 broke the 2 minute barrier. Abby ran a 2:00.17 seconds a Canadian Record and P.B. She also won gold for the 800-metre race at the 1963 Pan American Games and 1971 Pan American Games and the bronze at the 1967, at the 1975 Games, a silver and a bronze for the 800-metre and the 1500-metre distances.

Post-athletics[edit]

From 1981 to 1991, she was the first woman Director General of Sport Canada, a federal government sports agency. In 1981, she was the first Canadian female elected to the Executive Committee of the Canadian Olympic Committee. From 1980 to 1982, she wrote a fitness column for the Canadian magazine, Chatelaine.

In 1982, she and Maureen McTeer, supported the first women's national championship in ice hockey (known as the Shopper's Drug Mart Women's Nationals). The Abby Hoffman Cup is named in her honour. Since 1995, she has been a council member of the International Association of Athletics Federations. In 2003, she was named senior advisor with Health Canada and is executive co-ordinator of Health Canada’s pharmaceutical management strategies.

She is also the sister of Paul F. Hoffman, a geologist who has promoted the "snowball earth" hypothesis.

Honours[edit]

In 1982, Hoffman was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2004, she was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hockey’s Book of Firsts, p.51, James Duplacey, JG Press, ISBN 978-1-57215-037-9

External links[edit]