One can’t help but wonder if there is something in the water in Ocean Falls!
Ralph Hutton was Canada’s male swimming superstar in the 1960’s. In 1963 he was a boy among men; at 15-year-old he delivered a double medal performance at the Pan AM Games. In 1966, at the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica, at the age of 18, he earned eight medals and broke seven Canadian records. In the ’68 Pan AM’s he broke another six national records. And in 1968 he broke a world record in the 400 freestyle at the U.S. nationals and then medaled a few months later at the Olympics where he swam more individual events than any other Canadian.
Ralph was the first Canadian swimmer on three consecutive Olympic teams. His career at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Named Canada’s outstanding male swimmer in 1966, 1967, and 1968 he later went on to a career with the Vancouver Police Department and coached at both UBC and West Vancouver.
Born March 6, 1948 Ralph was an Ocean Falls swimmer.
Here’s an extract from The History of Ocean Falls Amateur Swimming Club – 1926-1974 highlighting some of Ralph’s incredible achievements:
- Sir Edward Beatty Trophy Winner, Canada’s Top Male Swimmer, 1968.
- Canadian Sports Hall of Fame Member, 1977.
- Canadian Aquatic Hall of Fame Member, 1973.
- International Swimming Hall of Fame Member.
- B.C. Sports Hall of Fame Member.
- Molson Trophy Winner, High Point Scorer,
- Canadian National Championships, 1965, 1967, 1968.
- U.S. Jr. College All-American. U.S. NCAA All-American.
- World Record Holder, 400 metres Freestyle, 1968.
- Silver Medallist, 1968 Olympics, 400 Freestyle. Finalist in Olympic Competition in 7 events.
- Canadian Mens Champion in Freestyle, Backstroke and Individual Medley events 1964-1972.
- Member of all Canadian National Teams, 1963-72.
George Gate with Ralph Hutton, left, and Peter Szmidt, two of his accomplished