percy williams olympic gold medal 1928
                   

PERCY WILLIAMS

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LAND SPEED RECORD

IMJIN WAR

PERCY WILLIAMS

TOPSY THE ELEPHANT

GEORGE FOULK



Samuel Hawley is a writer of narrative nonfiction and fiction. His books are highly eclectic. He has written about 16th-century East Asian history, 19th-century Korean-American relations, Olympic sprinting and land speed racing and a circus elephant named Topsy who was electrocuted in 1903. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.

PERCY WILLIAMS: WORLD'S FASTEST HUMAN




percy williams vancouver meet 1929
Program for the track meet held at Vancouver's Hastings Park on July 13, 1929, where Percy would face some of the fastest men from the States in the 100-yard dash, foremost among them Frank Wykoff, Eddie Tolan and Claude Bracey -- not to mention Canada's own Johnny Fitzpatrick. (Percy Williams Collection, hereafter PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams eddie tolan July 13 1929
In the Vancouver race on July 13, 1929, billed as the "Century of Centuries," Percy Williams defeats Frank Wykoff, Eddie Tolan, Claude Bracey and Milton Mauer of the USA and fellow Canadian Johnny Fitzpatrick. Tolan would later dispute the close finish. (author's collection)


percy williams beats eddie tolan
An editorial cartoon commemorating Percy's defeat of Eddie Tolan in the "Century of Centuries" in Vancouver, July 13, 1929. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams golf clubs
One thing Percy liked about running was winning prizes. Here he is awarded a set of golf clubs. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


eddie tolan defeats percy williams
Nineteen-thirty did not begin well for Percy. At a second international track meet held in Vancouver on July 1st, he placed a dismal third in the 100-yard dash, trailing University of Michigan track star Eddie Tolan (first) and George Simpson of Ohio State. There were those who felt that Percy wasn't taking his training seriously enough and that such a loss was to be expected. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams worlds fastest human
Percy Williams in the summer of 1930, at the time of the Canadian National Championships and the Empire Games. This would be the year he set a new world record for the 100 metres. (City of Toronto Archives)


percy williams olympic outfit
Another shot of Percy in the summer of 1930. This is the outfit he wore at the Empire Games. (City of Toronto Archives)


percy williams toronto 1930
A close-up of Percy Williams, the summer of 1930. (City of Toronto Archives)


percy williams biltmore hats advertisement
A newspaper advertisement for the Biltmore hat company's "Olympic" model, using the image of Percy winning an Olympic gold medal. (Vancouver Daily Province, September 14, 1928, author's collection)


percy williams letter August 5, 1930
Percy's letter  to his mother Charlotte, written in Toronto on August 5, 1930, a few days before he was to compete in the Canadian Championships. Percy found the Carls-Rite Hotel, "The House of Comfort," rather noisy: "Last night the cars and street cars galloped past making as much noise as possible and there is a taxi stand across the street where they have a bell that sounds like a fire alarm...Outside of these and a few more things I spent a very quiet night."(PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


toronto varsity stadium 1930
Toronto's Varsity Stadium in 1930, where Percy would compete in the Canadian National Championships. He was said to be in prime condition; the country was expecting him to set a record. (City of Toronto Archives)


percy williams world record 1oo meters
An editorial cartoon on Percy's world record in the 100 metres of 10.3., set in Toronto on August 9, 1930. The record woiuld stand for six years, until Jesse Owens ran a ten-point-two in 1936. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


empire games 1930 scott stadium hamilton
Scott Stadium, Hamilton, Ontario, 1930, site of the first Empire Games. (City of Toronto Archives)


percy williams empire games 1930
Percy winning his preliminary heat of the 100-yard dash at the Empire Games, Hamilton, August 23, 1930. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams starting crouch
Percy practicing his start, well bundled in his track suit to stay warm. Note his extreme forward lean, to the point of almost toppling over. (City of Toronto Archives)


percy williams empire games 1930
Percy, grimacing in pain from a torn muscle, breasts the tape in first to win the 100-yard final in the Empire Games, Hamilton, August 23, 1930. (author's collection)


percy williams empire games 1930
The front-page report in the Vancouver Daily Province, August 23, 1930, of Percy's victory in the Empire Games 100-yard dash. The pulled thigh muscle Percy suffered in the race would never properly heal and would plague him for the rest of his career. (author's collection)


samuel hawley i just ran percy williams worlds fastest human



copyright   2011 Samuel Hawley