Hall of Fame

George Parsons

Category: Athlete
Inducted: Thursday, July 16, 2009

George Parsons put together one of the most impressive race walking careers the province has ever seen during a period when race walking was the major track and field activity within the province. His career earned him election to the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.

For three decades he demonstrated exceptional skill and great determination, well supported by his willingness to make the sacrifices necessary to remain in excellent racing condition, and the confidence that is required to compete against the best and do extremely well. Coupled with his sense of sportsmanship, this willingness was a major aspect of a great race walking career.

His career started when he was 17 years old and continued with rewarding success when he qualified for the masters age category. Always in excellent shape, he won a masters one-mile race and a master´s three-mile in 1979.

He learned early that it was always a major mistake to break his walking stride as a disqualification prevented him from winning a 1952 juvenile five-mile race. It was the only time in his rewarding career that he was disqualified for breaking his strike, thus allowing him to record a multitude of victories for the Church Lads Brigade, the Club he represented with honor.

The ten-mile road race was his favorite but he excelled in many other events. His first ten-mile victory came in 1958 and for the remainder of his career he always finished in the top three walkers in that event.

It was in 1959 that he demonstrated his ability to race at any distance. His time of six minutes, 41.6 seconds was only four seconds off the world record at that time. In 1960, he had a crack at making Canada´s Olympic team but in the 20-kilometer trial in Toronto his second-place time was two minutes off the required Olympic standard.

His career is highlighted by his large number of walking victories and by the many records he set against the finest race walkers of his time. Always a contender for St. John´s Athlete of the Year, he placed second in the voting for 1959.

For a race walking career that was second to none, he was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame October 22, 2005.

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