Earl Thomson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people of the same name, see Earl Thomson (disambiguation).
Olympic medal record
Men's athletics
Competitor for  Canada
Gold medal – first place 1920 Antwerp 110 m hurdles
Earl Thomson in 1920.

Earl J "Tommy" Thomson[1][2] (February 15, 1895 – May 19, 1971) was Canadian athlete, a specialist in the high hurdles.

Born in Birch Hills, Saskatchewan, Thomson moved to southern California at age 8, because the warm weather would be better for his mother. Thomson attended Long Beach Poly, where he won the 120 yard hurdles at the first CIF California State Meet in 1915. He also was second in the High Jump and 4th in the Discus[3] He then went to the University of Southern California for one year and then transferred to Dartmouth College. He graduated from there in 1922 after two years in the RCAF in WWI.[4] In 1918, he had already won the AAU championships in the high hurdles,[5] and in 1920, he set a new world record in the 110 m hurdles, running 14.4. This record would remain unbeaten until 1931, although it was equaled a number of times. He sought to represent the United States at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, but was ruled ineligible due to his Canadian citizenship. He then joined the Canadian Olympic team.[6]

At the Olympics, Thomson won a clear victory over his American rivals. The following year, he equaled his own world record, and won the AAU, IC4A and NCAA championships. That year he also won the 220 yard low hurdles.[7] He retired after his third AAU title, in 1922.[1]

Later, Thomson became a track and field coach, coaching the team of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland for 36 years. Thomson was an inaugural inductee to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1955.[1] He died of cancer in Oceanside, California aged 76.[8]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Honoured members: Earl 'Tommy' Thomson". Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  2. ^ "Earl Thomson world record". Toronto World. 1920-08-19. p. 9. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  3. ^ "California State Meet Results - 1915 to present". Hank Lawson. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  4. ^ USC OLYMPIANS: 1904-2004, USC Trojans Athletic Department, Accessed August 13, 2008.
  5. ^ http://www.usatf.org/statistics/champions/USAOutdoorTF/men/m110mH.asp
  6. ^ "Canada will have Earl Thomson as entry for hurdles". Regina Morning Leader. 1920-04-21. p. 11. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  7. ^ http://www.usatf.org/statistics/champions/USAOutdoorTF/men/m200mH.asp
  8. ^ "Earl Thomson Dies of Cancer". The Victoria Advocate. 1971-05-20. p. 19. Retrieved 2014-11-06.