Munroe Bourne

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Canadian Olympic Medal Count

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Biography

Canadian swimmer Munroe Bourne made his first of three Olympic appearances at Amsterdam 1928 where he won a bronze medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay alongside Garnet Ault, Walter Spence and Jimmy Thompson. He reached the semi-finals of the 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke. In his next two Olympic Games, Bourne’s best results were reaching the finals of the 4x200m freestyle relay at Los Angeles 1932 (fourth) and Berlin 1932 (seventh), He did not advance to any finals in his individual events.

A two-time British Empire Games champion, Bourne won gold in the 100 yards freestyle and 4×200 yards freestyle relay at Hamilton 1930, also finishing sixth in the 400 yards freestyle. 

An all-round athlete, Bourne was successful in track and field and water polo, but started swimming competitively at the Montréal Amateur Athletics Association, and then became a member of the varsity swim team at McGill University in 1927. He captained three McGill teams, leading them to championships in swimming, track, and water polo and was an intercollegiate champion in four swimming and four track events. One of McGill’s finest international athletes, Bourne held five intercollegiate swim records and two Canadian records.

With degrees in English and political science in 1931, Bourne was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1932 and studied at Oxford University. In 1935, he returned to McGill graduating with a medical degree in 1937. Bourne served in the Canadian Army from 1940-46 during World War II, honourably discharged with the rank of Major. 

Bourne married Margaret Fairweather, a Lieutenant Nursing Sister in the 14th Canadian General Hospital Overseas Unit during WWII, settling first in Montréal and then in Rothesay, New Brunswick, had three children, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. He worked as a medical doctor for the rest of his life, passing away in 1992 in Rothesay. His wife passed away in 2014 two months shy of her 103rd birthday.

In 1972, Dr. Bourne was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and was an inaugural inductee to the McGill Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
1928 AmsterdamAquatics - Swimming100m Freestyle - Men -
1928 AmsterdamAquatics - Swimming4x200m Freestyle relay - menBronze
1928 AmsterdamAquatics - Swimming100m Backstroke - Men -
1932 Los AngelesAquatics - Swimming100m Freestyle - Men -
1932 Los AngelesAquatics - Swimming4x200m Freestyle Relay - men4
1932 Los AngelesAquatics - Swimming100m Backstroke - Men -
1936 BerlinAquatics - Swimming100m Freestyle - Men -
1936 BerlinAquatics - Swimming4x200m Freestyle relay - Men7
1936 BerlinAquatics - Swimming100m Backstroke - Men -