Jerome, Harry (1940–82)

Born in Prince Albert on September 30, 1940, Harry Jerome was the first man to hold both the 100-metre and 100-yard world track and field records. As a student at the University of Oregon in 1960, Jerome ran the 100-metre sprint in 10.0 seconds, tying German Armin Hary’s world record; two years later, he ran the 100 yards in 9.2 seconds, equaling the mark set by Frank Budd and Bob Hayes. At the 1960 Olympic Summer Games in Rome, Jerome suffered a pulled muscle during the 100-metre qualifying heats and failed to win a medal. A torn thigh muscle kept him off the medal podium at the 1962 Commonwealth Games. Despite these serious injuries, Jerome won a bronze medal in the 100-metre event at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Later that year, he broke two more world records, first as part of the University of Oregon relay team, then finishing the 60-yard dash in six seconds flat. In 1966, he improved his world record time in the 100-yard event to 9.1 seconds, and won gold at the Commonwealth Games, an achievement he repeated at the 1967 Pan American Games. He competed in his last Olympic Games in 1968. Harry Jerome went on to join Sport Canada as a teacher and consultant. Awarded the Order of Canada and inducted to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1971, he died of a brain aneurism on December 7, 1982. The city of Prince Albert named the track complex built for the 1992 Saskatchewan Summer Games in honour of Harry Jerome.

Elizabeth Mooney