Terry Tobacco on the track

From humble beginnings on northern Vancouver Island, Terry Tobacco went on to become one of our country's fastest men, competing in two Olympics and two British Empire Games. The native of Cumberland was discovered at the age of 15 by Victoria "Flying Y" coach Bruce Humber after winning the 100- and 220- yard races at the 1952 Island high school championships. That began a distinguished membership with the Flying Y club, one that saw Tobacco set records at B.C. and national meets and gain the opportunity to represent his country. At the 1954 British Empire Games in Vancouver, where Britain's Roger Bannister won the "Miracle Mile," the 17-year-old speed merchant provided a local highlight. He won the bronze medal in the 440-yard race, and then, his dynamic anchor leg in the 4x440-yard relay helped Canada win a silver medal. Those results earned him the 1954 B.C. Top Male Athlete award. Tobacco was twice Pacific Coast Conference champion in the 440 while at the University of Washington and was an NCAA all-American in 1959. At the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, his anchor time of 45.3 seconds in the 4x400 -metre relay semi-final, was faster than the gold-medal winning time in the 400! After winning bronze medals in the 440 and 4x440 at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales, he finished off his international career for Canada at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.


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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