A dynasty in the making, Glen Smith was a member of the winning University of British Columbia (UBC) eights crew representing Canada at the 1954 Commonwealth Games, where before 12,000 fans, the “Cinderella Crew” beat the Britons by two and a half boat lengths. He was a spare on the silver medal winning eight’s crew at Melbourne 1956. Then Smith won a silver medal at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff.
The same UBC crew, with Smith, was invited by Prince Philip himself to compete at the 1955 Royal Henley Regatta where they shocked the world again and defeated the defending champion Russian crew by a length and a quarter to win the semi-final. They eventually lost in the final to the University of Pennsylvania crew but credit for the Canadian success was given to Coach Frank Read for the dedication, discipline and physical condition the crew had, and jump-starting UBC’s famed rowing program.
While rowing at UBC, Smith was studying to become a doctor, graduating in 1959. In the early 1960s, he was a founding member of the Burnaby Lake Rowing Club becoming a board member in 1985 through to 2011 and was bestowed a lifetime membership. In the 1970s Smith became a national umpire officiating at provincial and national regattas for more than 35 years. He was the team physician for the Canadian under-23 rowing squad at the 1981 World Championships in Vienna.
Smith was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1958, British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 1966, and with the Melbourne 1956 crew into the University of British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.