Despite having taken up running at the age of 16, Charmaine Crooks had impressive longevity, and a significant impact, on the Canadian track and field scene that has been matched by few others. She first gained international attention at the 1980 Pan American Junior Championships, where she won the 400 metres event. She was then selected to represent her nation at the 1980 Summer Olympics, but stayed home after Canada joined the boycott of the Games. The following year she entered the University of Texas, El Paso on an athletic scholarship, where, by 1984, she earned six All-American Honors and a psychology degree. Along the way she won the 4x100 metre relay at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, alongside Angella Taylor-Issajenko, Molly Killingbeck, and Jill Richardson-Briscoe, silver in the 4x400 metre relay at the 1983 Summer Universiade, and gold and silver in the 400 m and the 4x400 m relay respectively at the 1983 Pan American Games. After graduation she attended the 1984 Summer Olympics, where she captured silver in the 4x400 m relay with Killingbeck, Richardson, Marita Payne Wiggins, and Dana Wright and finished seventh in the 400 m.
Crooks was far from retirement following her Olympic success. Although she would compete in three more Olympics, from 1988 through 1996, the closest she ever got to the podium again was in the 4x400 m relay in 1992, when the Canadians missed bronze by less than a second. She would, however, earn three more Commonwealth medals (gold in the 4x400 m relay in 1986 and silver in the 800 metres and bronze in the 4x400 m relay in 1994) and one more at the Pan American Games (silver in the 4x400 m relay in 1987). She was also selected as Canada’s flagbearer in the opening ceremony of the 1996 Games and later served on the International Olympic Committee, one of the many administrative positions in sport that she has held since her retirement. She has also worked as a television presenter and received the “IOC Women in Sport Trophy” in 2006. She has been inducted into the British Columbia Sports (2005), University of Texas, El Paso Sports (2006), and Canadian Athletics (2012) Halls of Fame.
Personal Bests: 400 – 50.45 (1984); 800 – 1:58.52 (1990).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
You May Like