Swimming Athlete - Inducted 1978
Graham Smith started swimming in 1964 with his father, Don as his coach. He won his first national age-group championship when he was ten years old. Graham's first international competition was at the 1975 World Aquatic Championships in Columbia. He won a silver medal at the Montreal Olympics in the 4 x 100m relay; placed 4th in the 100m and 200m breaststroke; and 5th in the 400m individual medley. In August 1977, Graham Smith set a world record in the 200m individual medley.
Graham Smith won six gold medals at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton while competing in the 100m and 200m breaststroke, 200m and 400m Individual Medley, 4 x 100m freestyle relay, and 4 x 100 medley relay. His number of gold medals won at a single Commonwealth Games set the standard, and while it has been tied three times, no one has bettered the mark as of 2019. He also set five Commonwealth Games records and three Commonwealth records during his gold medal run.
At the 1978 World Championships, held in West Berlin, Graham swam to a gold medal victory in the 200m Individual medley and set a world record in a very competitive event - as he beat three other world record holders in the field. He also won Silver in the 100m Breaststroke. At the1979 Pan American Games, Graham brought home a silver medal in the 200 IM, silver in the 4 X 100 medley relay and a bronze in the 100m breaststroke. Due to Canada’s boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games, Graham was unable to compete at the Games. He officially retired from swimming during the spring of 1982. Graham Smith’s outstanding swimming career ended with a total of 56 gold medals, 23 silver medals, and 8 bronze medals in Commonwealth, Olympic, World championship, and national events. He set 17 Canadian records. In 1978, he was named Canada’s Lou Marsh Trophy recipient as Canada’s top athlete, and the Canadian Press named him the Male Athlete of the year - Lionel Conacher Award.
Did You Know? Graham Smith has been credited as the first Canadian Swimmer to get a maple leaf tattoo.