Cliff Salmond

For a guy who claimed to have little or no athletic ability, middle distance runner Cliff Salmond achieved notable success on the track. Sporting the perfect physique for a runner, the long and lean Salmond initially specialized in the mile at Victoria High School and afterward won races on the Island and Lower Mainland at everything from a half mile to two miles. At age 20 he set a new Canadian two-mile record of nine minutes, 41 seconds, a performance that primed him for the 1948 Canadian Olympic trials. He won the 1,500 and 5,000 metres in Vancouver, setting a national record of 15:23 in the 5,000 in the process. The Olympic competition in London proved tough, however, and left Salmond on the sidelines for the finals. He kept up his chase for sporting glory back home while apprenticing as a machinist and attempted to qualify for the 1950 British Empire Games. He managed a second-place finish at the trials but it was not enough to secure a spot on the team and he retired from active competition at year's end. It may have been the end of Salmond's athletic career, but in 1992 he got the bug again and began training as Victoria prepared to host the 1994 Commonwealth Games. Retired from his real estate career at age 65, Salmond was readying himself for a different competition, the B.C. Seniors' Games. He proved he still had the competition edge, breaking two age-group records on the track that first year and setting three in 1994. Through 1999 he was still active as a runner and a coach for the Lower Island zone seniors track team.


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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