Heritage Moment: Glen Girard

Glen Girard started canoeing with Orenda Canoe Club in the 1980's and represented Canada in numerous international regattas through the late 80's and into the mid-90's. As a Junior Glen represented Canada at the 1987 Junior World Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and again at the 1988 European Junior Championships in Ovieto Spain, where he won (silver/bronze) in C-2 with Dan Howe of North Bay.

1988  European Junior Championships in Ovieto Spai n, where Glen Girard (right) won  (silver/bronze)  in C-2 with Dan Howe (left) of North Bay.

1988 European Junior Championships in Ovieto Spain, where Glen Girard (right) won (silver/bronze) in C-2 with Dan Howe (left) of North Bay.

In his transition to Senior at the national level, one of his most memorable races occurred in 1989 with his Orenda C-4 teammates of Bryan Burns, Steve Giles, and Kevin Mullen when they won gold in Junior men's C-4 for the renowned Black trophy, setting a new national record and bringing the Black trophy back to Atlantic Canada for the first time since Mic Mac's win in 1956. The previous year this Orenda crew had held a commanding lead in this event only to sink in the last 100m.

Orenda C-4 crew sinking in the last 100m of the 1000m Junior Mens C-4. From left to right: Bryan Burns, Steve Giles, Kevin Mullen (hidden), Glen Girard, and the Banook crew. Dartmouth nationals 1988.

Orenda C-4 crew sinking in the last 100m of the 1000m Junior Mens C-4. From left to right: Bryan Burns, Steve Giles, Kevin Mullen (hidden), Glen Girard, and the Banook crew. Dartmouth nationals 1988.

In 1989 Glen also won gold in Junior C-2 with his partner Kevin Mullen, setting a national record that would stand for over 20 years.

In 1992 Glen was named as an alternate on the Barcelona Olympic team, and was named to the National Canoe Team, which he maintained for 3 years. In 1994 Glen placed 5th in Mexico City at the Senior World Championships in the C-4 1000m event along with teammates Gavin Maxwell, Dan Howe, and Craig O'Leary. During his paddling career Glen won numerous national medals representing Canada at international competitions in cities such as Racine (Czechoslovakia), Paris, Vienna, Munich, Hamburg, Budapest, West Palm Beach, and Lake Placid (New York state) - placing top 3 often. Glen retired from sprint paddling after the World Championships in Mexico, however he competed for the Canadian team in the 1996 Hong Kong Grand Championship Dragonboat Festival, winning gold in the competitive division.

Following his canoeing career Glen volunteered with the High Performance Committee of the Atlantic Division and served on the Orenda Canoe Club executive. He went on to coach his kids in soccer for 10+ years and lives in Dartmouth with his wife Jane and daughters Emma and Abigail.