Graham Smith, already an outstanding Canadian and international swimmer, would confirm his status with a Silver medal as a member of Canada’s 4X100m medley relay team at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. In 1977 he began his assault of the record books by setting a world record in the 200m individual medley. But 1978 proved a golden, albeit poignant year for the 20-year-old Edmonton swimmer, whose father died of cancer in 1976, shortly after seeing his son stand on the Olympic podium. At the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, competing in the Donald F. Smith pool named after his father, Smith unleashed one of the most memorable campaigns in Canadian sport by winning six Gold Medals, three in Commonwealth record time. Weeks later he proved best in the world by winning the 200m individual medley at the World Aquatics Championships in West Berlin, adding a world record to his glory. The year’s achievements prompted Smith to acknowledge he was, indeed, “a big fish in a big pond.”

Wendy Long

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