Bruce Robertson took swimming at the age of five and joined the Canadian national team in 1971. His first major international tournament was the 1972 Summer Olympics, where he took silver in the 100 metre butterfly (behind Mark Spitz of the United States, who was on his way to winning seven gold medals at the Games) and bronze in the 4x100 metre medley relay (alongside Erik Fish, Bob Kasting, Bill Kennedy, and Bill Mahony). He also finished fifth and seventh in 4x100 and 4x200 metre freestyle relays respectively, and was eliminated in the opening rounds of the 100, 200, and 400 metre freestyle events. He again reached the podium the following year at the World Championships, with gold in the 100 m butterfly and bronze in the 4x100 m medley relay (with Ian MacKenzie, Brian Phillips, and the non-Olympian Peter Hrdlitschka). His best year, however, was 1974, when he won six medals at the Commonwealth Games: gold in the 4x100 metre freestyle and medley relays, silver in the 100 and 200 metre freestyle events, and bronze in the 100 metre butterfly and the 4x200 metre freestyle relay. For this achievement, he was named to the Order of Canada the same year.
Robertson’s career began to wind down in 1975, and he was fourth in the 100 m butterfly and the 4x100 m medley relay at that year’s World Championships. He did, however, earn five medals at the Pan American Games: silver in the three relays and bronze in the 100 m freestyle and butterfly events. His final major international tournament for Canada was the 1976 Summer Olympics, where he captured silver in the 4x100 m medley relay, alongside Clay Evans, Gary MacDonald, Steve Pickell, and Graham Smith, and was eliminated in the opening round and semifinals of the 100 m freestyle and butterfly events respectively. He retired from the national team in 1977, but continued to swim for Simon Fraser University for several years thereafter. A chartered accountant, he has been heavily involved in sports administration, most recently, as of 2013, as Vice President of the Commonwealth Games Federation. He has been inducted into the Canadian Aquatic, Canadian Olympic, British Columbia Sports, and Canada’s Sports Halls of Fame, as well as the Swimming Canada Circle of Excellence.
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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