Ed Kelly was a dominant performer in Newfoundland and Labrador athletic events from 1956 to 1962. He won more medals in field events than any other performer during a period that featured a large number of athletic meets. It should be noted that not only was he successful against local entries but also competed against many top American military personnel.
He excelled in a wide range of events including pole vault, javelin, discus, high hump, long jump and hop, skip and jump. Between 1956 and 1962, Ed Kelly continuously finished within the top three in the vast majority of these events. All in all, he won a total of 43 medals during this seven-year period.
Because provincial track and field championships were always held during one day and not spread out over two days, he would participate in an impressive number of events simultaneously, often leaving one event to immediately compete in another. Several of the competitions required a lengthy period of time to complete.
While he was extremely successful in field events, he was also good enough on the track to earn membership on relay teams, be they 880 yards or one mile. He ran for two championship St. Pat’s teams in 1960 and for Bell Island one mile relay teams that placed in the top three in 1958 and 1961 meets. He often qualified for the finals of the 220, 440 and 880-yard runs.
It is noted that that had there been a provincial decathlon championship during his period of competition, Ed Kelly would have been a prime contender in decathlon events.
His successful performances in athletics were the result of exceptional personal skill, coupled with great determination and exceptional dedication. He thoroughly enjoyed track and field competition and demonstrated his love by the manner in which he competed.
In addition to his exceptional track and field ability, he was an outstanding hockey, baseball and softball player in Newfoundland and in Labrador.
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