Canadian Olympian honored by former school with new pathway

Published On February 23, 2018 | By HN Staff | News, Sports

Keysha Watson

Sam Richardson’s family members pose with the new street sign on the steps of Central Tech. (Martin Trainor/ CBC News)

In celebration of Black History Month, a downtown Toronto high school has officially renamed its laneway after Black Canadian Olympian, Sam Richardson.

Thursday, Central Technical school near Bathurst and Bloor street unveiled the new street sign Sam Richardson Way, which runs between the school and a running track.

Samuel Richardson lll told CBC, “He would really appreciate it if he’s looking down on us.”

Sam (Sammy) Richardson was an alumnus of Central Tech.

“Sam Richardson’s success on the track helped pave the way for future student athletes,” said VP Daniel Lee. “Central Technical School has a rich history of students, faculty and alumni competing in Olympic games for example, Michael Smith, Atlee Mahorn, and Charity Williams that can be traced back to Sam’s achievements.”

At just 17 Richardson was one of the youngest Olympians competing at the British Empire School Boy Games in Australia and the British Empire Games (Commonwealth Games) in England in 1934.

Lee says the school’s Alumni Association hopes the new laneway will inspire students to dream big and set goals.

“The alumni association were strong supporters of the renovation to the school grounds and proposed the recognition of the former student who had success in track-and-field to help inspire current students to set goals and work towards them in the same way Sam Richardson was able to so many years ago,” he said.

Sam Richardson (second from left) runs in the 4 x 100-metre relay at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Richardson continued his athletic success competing in the 4 x 100-metre Canadian relay team that placed fifth during the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. He also won a gold medal in long jump and a silver medal in triple jump.

Towards the end of his competitive life Richardson focused primarily on raising his family and acting as a mentor to young athletes. He died in 1989, leaving behind an extensive family legacy and a lasting impact on the history of Black Canadians for future generations to learn from.

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