Thursday 17 September 2020

Ned Hanlan (Canada, 1980)

Oh, Canada! I think the last Canadian stamp that jumped out at me was about an incredible long-distance runner. Now look: here’s Ned. What an image!

Edward “Ned” Hanlan grew up in Ontario, the son of a fisherman turned hotelkeeper. He was an avid rower who, the story goes, got stronger and faster than everyone else trying to get across Lake Ontario to sell the freshest fish catch at market. In 1877, he became the champion sculler of Canada and, a year later, champion of North America. He then travelled to England to take on and defeat the English champion. Ultimately, he was World Sculling Champion five years in a row and only lost 6 out of around 300 races in his whole professional career.

I am gently fascinated that rowing was already a professional sport by the 1870s when so many gentlemanly pursuits remained amateur. Anyway, this one is definitely one that you want to read about, so head over to the link for more:

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