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Gate, Bruce Receive Order of Canada

In Tokyo, at the 1964 Olympic Games, half of Canada’s men’s swim team came from Ocean Falls, B.C. There, they were coached by George Gate, who is regarded as the grandfather of modern Canadian swimming. Friday morning, Gate was appointed as member of the Order of Canada.

Gate’s career in aquatics started in the small pulp town of Ocean Falls (one photo above), where he served as manager and lifeguard of the town pool – and pioneered swimming techniques that became standard practice across the country. He coached swimmers who won 26 national titles, an unprecedented number. Eventually he moved to Quebec and coached for the Montreal Athletic Association and in Point-Claire. In total, Gate coached 33 swimmers to the Olympic Games, Pan American Games and World Championships. He also coached Canadian Olympic swimmers in 1968.

Gate, a groundbreaking mentor to both swimmers and coaches, was inducted in 2002 to the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.

Also Friday, Ian Bruce was appointed as Officer of the Order of Canada. From Dorval, Que. Bruce advanced the sport of sailing in Canada and across the world. An Olympic sailor in 1960 and 1972, Bruce left his mark on the sport following his athletic career. His vision led to the creation of the Laser, a high performance sailing dinghy that is now contested at the Olympic level. It’s one of a dozen Bruce’s 40-year career in high performance boat design saw him help develop a dozen classes of boat. The inventor continues to device high performance boats, including the Byte, which will be used at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.