John Wood (canoeist)

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John Joseph Wood (June 7, 1950 – January 23, 2013) was a Canadian sprint canoeist who competed from the late 1960s to the later 1970s. Competing in three Summer Olympics, he won the silver medal in the C-1 500 m event at Montreal in 1976.[1] The medal was Canada's first in the sport since 1952.

Wood also won a silver medal in the C-2 500 m event at the 1977 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Sofia, and won a bronze medal in sailing at the 1979 Pan American Games in San Juan.[1]

Wood was featured prominently in the 1978 documentary Paddles Up! on YouTube (originally produced by Wolf Ruck Productions for Canoe Ontario[2]), which promotes the sport of sprint canoe-kayak in Canada. In the film, Wood is shown training in his C-1, running, and in the weight room. Wood provides an accompanying voice-over that discusses the appeal of sport and canoeing in particular: "What I enjoy most about paddling in a race is winning. But that's not necessarily what I enjoy most about paddling. I get real satisfaction out of training: just spinning along out of doors."

After retiring from active competition, Wood became a successful businessman in Toronto, founding the investment company 20/20 Financial. In addition to his business pursuits, he remained active in Olympic sport and in the broader sporting community. He struggled with periods of depression, and committed suicide in January 2013.[3]

Until his death Wood lived in Oakville, Ontario with wife, Debbie Daymond, and 4 children, Jason, Michael, Alan and Jenny. On August 27, 2013 his family unveiled a commemorative plaque in his honour on the finish tower at the Olympic Basin in Montreal where Wood crossed the line to win his silver medal.[4]


  1. ^ a b Gerard, Daniel (January 28, 2013). "John Wood, 62, captured silver medal in canoeing singles at 1976 Montreal Olympics | Toronto Star". Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Holdings: Paddles Up!". Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Mick, Hayley. "Three-time Olympian John Wood achieved greatness in sport and business". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Plaque unveiled in Montreal for 1976 Olympic canoe medalist, John Wood - August 27th, 2013". CanoeKayak Canada. Retrieved 11 August 2014.