John Gay earned the Olympic entry standard for Tokyo 2020 when he ran a personal best 8:20.68 in the 3000m steeplechase at the Canadian Olympic Trials just days before the qualification period closed at the end of June 2021. In his Olympic debut, he lowered his personal best to 8:16.99 in the first round heats, earning him a spot in the final.
Gay had won a pair of medals at the 2015 Canadian Junior Championships, taking silver in the 3000m steeplechase and bronze in the 5000m. That summer he made his international debut at the Pan American Junior Championships in the 3000m steeplechase, where he finished fifth.
In 2017 Gay represented Canada in his first senior international event, just missing the 3000m steeplechase podium at the Jeux de la Francophonie. In 2018 he got on the podium for the first time at the Canadian Championships, finishing third in the 3000m steeplechase.
In 2019, Gay raced in the World Cross Country Championships. He ran the 3000m steeplechase in under 8:30 for the first time at the Meeting International de la Province de Liège in Liege, Belgium. He then won bronze at the Canadian Championships for the second consecutive time and made his first World Athletics Championships appearance in the 3000m steeplechase to end the year.
Gay raced collegiately for the University of British Columbia. With the Thunderbirds he won gold in the 3000m steeplechase at the NAIA Championships three consecutive years (2016-18) and won silver in the 5000m twice (2016, 2018). He represented Canada at the 2017 Universiade, finishing 10th in the 3000m steeplechase.
A Little More About John
Getting into the Sport: Began competing in track during Grade 11… Has wanted to represent Canada since spending the summer of 2016 training with Canadian Olympic steeplechaser Chris Winter… Outside Interests: Earned his Masters of Business Management from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia in 2019… Works as the manager for the Vancouver Thunderbirds Track and Field Club… Is a longtime supporter of Power to Change Ministries, specifically Athletes in Action, a Christian faith-based ministry that seeks to empower athletes in their sporting lives through supporting their spiritual journeys… Odds and Ends: Favourite motto: “The Horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD” -Proverbs 21:31…
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Notable International Results
Olympic Games: 2020 - 15th (3000m steeplechase)
World Athletics Championships: 2019 - 32nd (3000m steeplechase)
FISU Universiade: 2017 - 10th (3000m steeplechase)
Jeux de la Francophonie: 2017 - 4th (3000m steeplechase)
World Cross Country Championships: 2019 - 101st (race)
Pan American Championships (junior): 2015 - 5th (3000m steeplechase)