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Lawrence Lemieux

Sailing Achievement - Inducted 2008

Lawrence Lemieux is a Canadian sailor who competed at the1988 Summer Olympics in the Finn class. On September 24, 1988, the sailing competition was underway. The conditions had unexpectedly become dangerous.

In the 470 class, two sailors on the Singapore team were thrown into the water, suffered injuries and were unable to right their boat. Sailing alone near the half point in his race, Lemieux then in second place in this the fifth of a seven-race event and was given a good chance to win one of the medals, immediately took action, forgetting his own race and sailed towards the downed crew.

Lawrence did not win a medal in the overall seven race competition but at the medal ceremony Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee, awarded Lemieux the Pierre de Coubertin Medal for “Sportsmanship for his act.” “By your sportsmanship, self-sacrifice and courage,” said Samaranch, you “embody all that is right with the Olympic ideal”.

Lawrence has placed well and won countless national and international regattas between 1978 and 1998. For many years he built boats used at the highest level of international competition. Now retired from competition, he continues to contribute to sailing with coaching locally, nationally and internationally.