Byron MacDonald

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Byron MacDonald
Personal information
Full nameArthur Byron MacDonald
National teamCanada
Born (1950-07-23) July 23, 1950 (age 68)
Mississauga, Ontario
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight61 kg (134 lb)
College teamUniversity of Michigan

Arthur Byron MacDonald (born July 23, 1950) is an American Canadian swimming coach who helms the Toronto Varsity Blues swim teams at the University of Toronto. He is a former swimmer who competed for Canada in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. MacDonald placed sixth in the final of the men's 100-metre butterfly, and also competed in the preliminary heats of the 200-metre butterfly, but did not advance.[1] He had suffered an acute hernia at the Opening Ceremonies, two days before competition, but doctors pushed the hernia "back into place".[2]

He has coached Varsity Blues swim teams to 17 Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships—nine women's, and eight men's [3]—including most recently, a women's and men's team competition sweep of the 2015-2016 national titles.[4]

He also works as a television commentator analyzing major competitions in swimming. He is a two-time recipient of the Gemini Award for sports play-by-play broadcasting in recognition of his swimming analysis on CBC at the Summer Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008.[5]

MacDonald was born in Mississauga, Ontario, but raised in Chicago, Illinois.[6]


Commentating as a swimming analyst on CBC's live telecast of 2016 Summer Olympics women's 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay August 10, 2016, he mistakenly uttered on the air an off-the-cuff opinion to his co-commentator Elliotte Friedman. He criticized China's relay second-leg swimmer Ai Yanhan for swimming her first 50-metre split too fast, then consequently due to fatigue, her last 50 metre split too slowly.[7]

Caught out being unaware that his microphone was still open to air, he said, "The little 14-year-old from China dropped the ball, baby. Too excited. Went out like stink[8] and died like a pig. Thanks for that."

On the next day, both he,[9] and the CBC issued an apology for such comments.[10] The University of Toronto subsequently issued a statement reiterating CBC's apology on his behalf.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Byron MacDonald". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  2. ^ "Some were unfit: MD". The Globe and Mail. Toronto ON. Canadian Press. 1 Nov 1972. p. 43.
  3. ^ "University of Toronto Varsity Blues - Swimming Coaching Staff". University of Toronto. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "CIS swimming championships: Toronto sweep both titles for the first time in 23 years". Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  5. ^ "Byron MacDonald Analyst Swimming". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  6. ^ Cauz, Louis (1 Sep 1972). "Vancouver swimmers win medals". The Globe and Mail. Toronto ON. p. 34.
  7. ^ "Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final Results" (PDF). 2016 Summer Olympics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-20. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  8. ^ "like stink". TheFreeDictionary. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  9. ^ "CBC Sports' swim analyst Byron MacDonald apologizes for comments directed at a Chinese swimmer". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  10. ^ "CBC apologizes after Olympic commentator says Chinese swimmer 'went out like stink, died like a pig'". National Post. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "Swim coach apologizes for on-air comments". University of Toronto. Retrieved August 12, 2016.