Archie McKinnon

Archie McKinnon moved to Victoria in 1913 and soon started a relationship with the YMCA that would last the rest of his life. He coached a number of different sports but was best known for his work in swimming and track & field. He coached at the YMCA from 1930 to 1960 and he helped more than 60,000 Victorians learn how to swim. Archie was instrumental in forming the YMCA Track & Field Team in 1920 and later the "Y Times" Track meet. He coached Canadian athletes at 4 Olympic games and was the "unofficial" swim coach at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, the official track coach at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, the official swimming coach at the 1948 Olympics in London and the official swimming coach at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. He coached many top calibre athletes including Hall of Fame members Peter Salmon, Bill Parnell, Bruce Humber, Paul Rowe, Doug and Torchy Peden, and Art and Chuck Chapman. A well-loved member of the community, McKinnon was recognized with many awards and citations, including having the University of Victoria Athletic Complex and the YM-YWCA pool named after him. He has also been inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.


Victoria enjoys a stellar sports history and we celebrate the many athletes, teams and builders who have contributed to that history.  Our displays are seen at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (1925 Blanshard St.)  through Gate Three.


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