One of Canada’s greatest all-time swimmers, Victor Davis burst out of the Guelph Marlin Aquatic Club and onto the international scene in 1982 with gold medals in the 200m breaststroke and silver medals in the 100m breaststroke at that year’s World Championships and Commonwealth Games. Two years later, at the 1984 Summer Olympics, he captured gold in the 200m and silver in the 100m and the 4x100m medley. He was already a member of the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame by 1985, but he was still at his prime and captured two more medals (gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m) at the World Championships and three more (gold in the 100m and the 4x100m medley and silver in the 200m) at the Commonwealth Games in 1986. He was nearly as successful at the 1987 Pan American Championships, capturing gold in the 100m and bronze in the 200m, and participated at the 1988 Summer Olympics, where he won another silver at the 4x100m medley, but dropped to fourth in the 100m. After nine years on the national team he retired in July 1989 as a 17-time national champion in the 100m breaststroke, 14-time national champion in the 200m breaststroke, 2-time national champion in the 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley, and one-time national champion of the 400m individual medley.
Davis had little time to enjoy his retirement, however, as he died two days after being struck by a car following an earlier verbal altercation with the driver in November of 1989. His organs were donated to individuals in need and the Victor Davis Memorial Foundation was established to help fund Canadian swimmers seeking to compete at the international level. Prior to his death he was made a member of the Order of Canada and a TV movie about his life, entitled simply “Victor”, was first shown in 2008.
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