Track & Field Pioneer - Inducted 2001
Alex Decoteau was born on the Red Pheasant Reserve, near North Battleford, Saskatchewan, in 1887, where he developed his athletic skills in boxing, cricket, soccer and baseball. Alex Decoteau moved with his family in 1909, to Edmonton, which is where his running career began. From 1909-1916, he entered nearly every major long-distance running race in Alberta, winning most of them.
Alex Decoteau's running success drew much media attention during 1910 and 1911, where he won the ten-mile race at Fort Saskatchewan by a margin of eight minutes and, at a provincial meet in Lethbridge, he won the five-mile, two-mile, one-mile, and half-mile races all in one day. His running exploits earned him the title “Champion Runner of Alberta”.
Alex Decoteau qualified for the 10,000 metre and 5,000 metre races in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics where he placed eighth in the 5,000 metre final. Alex was the only Albertan on the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Team.
Alex Decoteau continued his running career after joining the Canadian Army in 1916, competing in and winning most service races held overseas. Tragically, Alex Decoteau, only 30 years old, was killed near Passchendaele Ridge on October 30, 1917.
Alex Decoteau, in 2017 will be posthumously honoured in Edmonton’s revitalized downtown core, as the only new park to be built in the area since 2000, will be named after him.