percy williams olympic gold medal 1928
                   

PERCY WILLIAMS

www.samuelhawley.com

HOME         BOOKS        BIOGRAPHY        FORTHCOMING        CONTACT        LINKS


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: ROAD TO THE OLYMPICS




percy williams commerce high
Percy, second from left, with the Commerce High School track team, 1928. The others from left to right are: Wally Scott, coach Graham Bruce, Dave Hendry and Alf Harvey. (City of Vancouver Archives)


commerce high school coach graham bruce
Percy's Commerce High School coach, Graham Bruce. (City of Vancouver Archives)


vancouver high school sorts percy williams
Percy, running for Commercial High School, winning the 220-yard dash at the Vancouver High School Meet, May 1928. (City of Vancouver Archives)


emslie yeo percy williams coach
The first page of a two-page write-up in the King Edward High School Matric Annual for 1929 (pages 48 and 49) by Percy's first coach, Emslie Yeo, recounting Percy's first years as a runner. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


emslie yeo percy williams coach
The second page of Emslie Yeo's Matric Annual write-up on Percy. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams crouch
Percy in his starting crouch, feet braced in holes dug into the turf. He appears to be wearing his Commerce High School togs. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams olympic trials 1928
After qualifying to represent BC at the Olympic trials scheduled to be held in Hamilton, Percy was worried that the local AAU branch would decline once again to send him east (that's what they had done the previous year) and that he would have to fund his own trip. His and Bob's resulting fund-raising efforts irked the AAU, which felt Percy was being too independent. (Vancouver Sun clipping, PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams olympic trials 1928 100-metre semi-final
Canadian Olympic trials, Hamilton, Ontario, June 30, 1928, the second semi-final in the 100 metres. Here we see Percy (second from left) placing second to advance to the final. Johnny Fitzpatrick (far right) is first and Ralph Adams (far left)  is third. (Hamilton Spectator, July 3, 1928, author's collection)


percy williams olympic trials 1928
The Canadian Olympic trials, Hamilton, 1928, start of the 100-metre final. Percy is third from right, between Cyril Coaffee and George "Buck" Hester (left arm thrown back). Note the spectator clinging to a telephone pole to see over the fence. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams olympic trials 1928
The finish of the 100-metre final, Percy "running like a fung" in the lead. (To "run like a fung" was one of the slang terms used by Percy and his friends.) The other runners, from left to right: Johnny Fitzpatrick (second), Ralph Adams (fourth), George Hester (third), Cyril Coaffee and Leigh Miller (partially hidden behind Percy). (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams canadian olympic trials 1928
Percy gives the salute after winning the 100-metre final at the Canadian Olympic trials, Hamilton, 1928. He is flanked by second-place finisher Johnny Fitzpatrick (right) and third-place finisher George "Buck" Hester. (PWC, BC Sports Hall fo Fame and Museum)


percy williams olympic trials podium 1928
Another shot of Percy, Johnny and Buck on the winners' podium. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


percy williams johnny fitzpatrick george buck hester
Percy Williams (left), Johnny Fitzpatrick (center) and George "Buck" Hester (right). Johnny and Buck wear the crest of the Hamilton Athletic Club. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


canadian olympic trials 1928 200 metres
The three heats at the Canadian Olympic trials in Hamilton for the 200 metres. The lower photo shows Percy, far right, qualifying with ease in his preliminary heat, coasting through the tape in second behind Ralph Adams. In the middle photo Percy (far right) wins his semi-final , again without showing too much strain. The top photo shows the hard-fought final, Percy, head thrown back, giving his all to win, Johnny Fitzpatrick (arms raised at right) in second, Ralph Adams (second from right) in third. (Hamilton Spectator, July 3, 1928, author's collection)


cap cornelius percy williams
A page from Percy's copy of the 1928 Olympic trials program, featuring a photo of Canadian Olympic coach J.R. "Cap" Cornelius. Cornelius' notions of hard training ran counter to the moderate, energy-conserving approach that Percy favored. The two did not get along.  Percy's feelings, writtten in the third person, are evident in the comments he has penned around the photo of Cornelius: "Coach of the Canadian team but gets on Percys nerves with his I I I -- I hold every record, I will break everything etc. About the only thing he could break is china. He's all right but would be better off teaching Sunday School." (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


bob granger predicts percy williams gold medal
After Percy's wins in the 100 and 200 metres at the Canadian Olympic trials, coach Bob Granger predicted in the press that Percy would win an Olympic gold medal. (Vancouver Daily Province, July 3, 1928, author's collection)


canadian olympic team 1928
A group shot of the Canadian Olympic team aboard the steamer Albertic as it departs Montreal for the voyage across the Atlantic. Percy is in the third row (the first row that is standing), fifth from right, wearing a black sweater. Doral Pilling of Calgary is sitting on the deck in the front row, center, wearing a black suit. A big, gregarious, outgoing man, quite unlike Percy, Doral and Percy would nevertheless become good friends during the trip. (Hamilton Spectator photo, July 13, 1928, author's collection)


percy williams harry warren
Percy aboard the steamer Albertic en route to the Olympics, with an unidentified team member. Percy grew stressed and unhappy on the voyage due to the tension that existed between him and coach Cornelius. (PWC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum)


samuel hawley percy williams the worlds fastest human



copyright 2011 Samuel Hawley