oshof home page
OSHOF Marquee

athlete image
Introducing John Wood


John Wood began his paddling career in the early 1960s at the Mississauga Canoe Club and later joined the Oakville Racing Canoe Club.

His first major success came in 1968 when, partnered with Scott Lee, they upset the favourites to win the Canadian Olympic trials. Wood and Lee raced in the C2 1000 metres at the 1968 Olympiad in Mexico City.

The pair also raced in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and advanced to the semi-finals before elimination.

John then made the decision to elevate his training to world level, and spent 1973 and 1974 training in Hungary with some of the best paddlers in the world. His efforts paid off:
6th place .. C1 1000 metres .... 1974 World championships
5th place .. C1 500 metres .... 1975 World championships
Silver medal .. C1 500 metres ....1976 Olympics, Montreal (1st Cdn. Olympic canoeing medal since 1952)
Silver medal .. C2 500 metres .... 1977 World championships (partnered with Greg Smith)

John Wood retired from competitive racing in 1977 after capturing over 30 international racing medals, and over 100 racing medals in Canada. John became a two sport medalist by capturing a bronze medal in sailing at the 1979 Pan Am Games in Puerto Rico.

John worked as a CBC commentator for canoeing from 1980 - 1988 which included coverage of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He enjoyed a brief comeback to racing in 1985, by competing while wired for sound at the Canadian nationals.

John Wood blazed a trail for Canadian paddlers at a time when the Canadian team had been weak internationally. His dedication and success inspired others, and led to the future strong showing by Canadian Olympians such as Larry Cain, Renn Chrichlow, and Steve Giles.

John continues to support the sport of canoeing through service as a director of the Burloak Canoe Club, Canadian Olympic Foundation (Chair, 1996 - 1999), Canadian Olympic Association investment committee (Chair 2004).

John Wood resides in Oakville with his wife Debbie, three sons and one daughter.


OSHOF Marquee