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Lionel J. Fournier

Track & Field Athlete - Inducted 1985

Lionel Fournier has won various Local, Provincial, and National Championships while competing in the high jump, long jump, discus, and javelin events.  He set the Canadian record for decathlon during the 1948 Olympic trials.  Lionel Fournier was the first Canadian to ever compete in decathlon at the Olympics.  As a college athlete, he held a Canadian record in discus.

After Induction

Lionel J. Fournier (1917 – 1993) Lionel Fournier was involved in sports and recreation both as a career and as an amateur athlete and builder. At age 13, in Pincher Creek, he began his collection of Track and Field medals – a collection that includes local, Provincial, and National championships. He held the Alberta High Jump record for 22 years! Lionel was a “Five Letter” man at U.B.C. excelling in Track and Field and Football.


During the war, he fought with the “Calgary Highlanders,” and as Sports Officer with the occupation forces, continued competing across Europe. On his return to Canada, the Recreation Leadership School in Red Deer helped him adjust to civilian life once again.


He pursued a Physical Education Degree at McGill and set a Canadian Inter-collegiate record in the Discus event. At the 1948 Olympic Trials, a Canadian Record in the Decathlon qualified him to be the first Canadian ever to compete in this event at the 1948 Olympic Games in London England. As a Recreation Director, Lionel initiated and developed sports programs in Westmount and in the Saguenay Region of Quebec. He was Chairman of the first Playground Olympics for Greater Montreal.


Returning to Alberta, he became track and field coach at University of Alberta and among initiators of sports competitions for Canada’s Handicapped Athletes. He was National team captain for the 1967 Pan-Am Games for Wheelchair Athletes in Winnipeg. In 1968 he accompanied the Canadian Team to Israel and was manager and coach of the National team the following year in Argentina. Lionel retired from the U of A in 1979 and became a resident of Canmore. In 1992, with other Alberta Olympians, Lionel proudly marched in the Calgary Stampede Parade. He was the eldest Olympian from the earliest Games!


Lionel died in Canmore in 1993.