Alex Wilson running for Canada

Alex Wilson

golden leaf icon for Hall of Fame

Team Canada Medal Count

Gold medal icon 0
Silver medal icon 1
Bronze medal icon 3


Middle distance runner Alex Wilson made his Olympic debut at Amsterdam 1928, winning a bronze medal as a member of the Canadian 4x400m relay team with Phil Edwards, Stan Glover and Jimmy Ball. Individually, he reached the semi-finals of the 400m and 800m. In the summer of 1932, Wilson was a medal favourite in the 400m and 800m at Los Angeles 1932 and captured one in every event in which he was entered. His first medal was in the 800m where he was stride for stride over the last 50m with the gold medalist, finishing 0.2 seconds behind him for the silver, both men breaking the world record. Wilson shared the 800m podium with Canadian Phil Edwards, who won the bronze. In the 400m final, which he ran under the world record time, Wilson won the bronze medal, and then as member of the 4x400m relay team with Edwards, Ball and Ray Lewis, won another bronze medal, bringing his all-time Olympic medal count to one silver and three bronze.


Along with his Olympic medals, Wilson collected a full set of medals at the 1930 British Empire Games, a 440 yards gold, 4×400 yard relay silver and 880 yards bronze. He set Canadian records in the 400m and 800m at the 1932 Canadian Championships. In 1930, Wilson was one of three Canadians to break the 57 second barrier in a 500 yards race, while going through the first 400 yards in under 50 seconds.


A member of the Montréal Amateur Athletic Association, Wilson arrived on the Canadian track scene just weeks before Amsterdam 1928, finishing second in the 400m and third in the 800m at the 1928 Olympic Trials. After Amsterdam 1928, he started college at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where he was a member of the varsity track team and began a string of victories in the quarter-mile and half-mile that left him undefeated at the collegiate level.


Retiring from competing after Los Angeles 1932, Wilson began an 18 year coaching assignment in athletics, basketball, cross-country and swimming at Loyola University in Chicago, becoming athletic director in 1945. He returned to his alma mater to coach track and field at Notre Dame in 1950 through to 1972, winning the 1957 NCAA Cross Country Championships and was named 1972 NCAA cross country coach of the year. Passing away in Mission, Texas in 1994, The Alex Wilson Invitational Track Meet at Notre Dame is named in his honour.

Wilson was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1953, Canadian Track Hall of Fame in 1954, Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame in 1967, and US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
1928 Amsterdam AthleticsRelay 4x400m - MenBronze
1928 Amsterdam Athletics400m - Men -
1928 Amsterdam Athletics800m - Men -
1932 Los Angeles Athletics400m - MenBronze
1932 Los Angeles AthleticsRelay 4x400m - MenBronze
1932 Los Angeles Athletics800m - MenSilver