Eric ROBERTSON

  • Participations
    1
  • Première participation
    Anvers 1920
Résultats olympiques

Biographie

Eric ROBERTSON

Eric Robertson is not always listed as a British international, because of the unusual circumstances surrounding his 1920 Olympic participation in the marathon. During World War I, Robertson was wounded in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, receiving a gun shot wound to his right leg and in 1917 he was eventually discharged and returned home to Newfoundland. In 1920 he took up a position with the London clothing store Fortnum and Brown. Among his workmates were some member of Polytechnic Harriers and through them Robertson developed an interest in running, although he had no competitive record of note.

Robertson elected to travel to Antwerp to watch the Olympics, and met up there with his Polytechnic teammates, who were in Antwerp as part of the British team. Canada was affiliated with Newfoundland at the time, although it was not integrated into the Dominion until 1949. Canada had entered four marathon runners, while Britain entered only three. His teammates persuaded the British team manager to offer the vacant fourth spot on the British team to Robertson, who wore the number that had been allocated to the fourth member of the British team, even though Robertson was a Newfoundland national. His lack of experience and ability showed as he finished in last place, 35 minutes behind the next-to-last finisher, and almost one and a half hours behind the winner.

For his Olympic participation, he was presented a silver medal by the Polytechnic Sports Club. Robertson returned to Newfoundland in 1921 and went on to become a renowned athletics judge, organizer, official and trainer. He holds the distinction of being the first Newfoundland born and bred athlete to compete at the Olympic Games, albeit for Great Britain, and in unusual circumstances. He and his family later settled in the United States, leaving Newfoundland in 1945, and living in Waltham, Massachusetts. Eric Mackenzie Robertson’s remarkable story is recalled in the book The Long Run by Joan Sullivan published in 2015.

Personal Best: Mar – unknown.

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Résultats olympiques
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Anvers 1920

#35
Marathon
Marathon Athletics