Canadian Olympic bobsleigh champion Douglas Anakin dies at 89

Douglas Anakin, a member of the four-man Canadian bobsleigh team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1964, has died. He was 89.

Anakin, Peter Kirby, brothers John and Vic Emery won 4-man gold in 1964 Games

Douglas Anakin, middle-right, competes as a member of Canada's bobsled team during the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Anakin, who helped claim four-man gold in those Olympics, has died at age 89. (File/The Canadian Press)

Douglas Anakin, a member of the four-man Canadian bobsleigh team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1964, has died. He was 89.

Anakin's family said he died Saturday without providing a cause of death.

Anakin, Peter Kirby and brothers John and Vic Emery claimed the four-man gold at Innsbruck, Austria. John Emery piloted the sled for the inexperienced Canadians, who didn't have a home track to practice on and still managed to beat favoured Austria and Italy. It was Canada's lone gold medal of those games and the country's first in bobsleigh. The teammates were inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame that year.

From Chatham, Ontario, Anakin also represented Canada in luge at Innsbruck but dropped out after two runs because of minor injuries and also because of scheduling conflicts with the bobsleigh competition, according to the Canadian Olympic Committee.

After retiring from the sliding sports in 1967, Anakin taught outdoor education at John Abbott College in Montreal and owned a sports store. He also coached the Canadian luge team at the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.

He is survived by wife Mary Jean and two daughters.


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