1996 Olympic Gold 4X100M Medalist Glenroy Gilbert is one of only a few Canadians to compete in both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games and the only Olympic champion to accomplish that feat.
After immigrating to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, he grew up in Ottawa and attended Laurentian High School where he competed in the long jump. After graduating from high school Glenroy competed at Louisiana State University from 1992 to 1994 where he continued to hone his skills in the long jump and sprints.
His first major international competition was at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul , South Korea where he competed in the long jump. In 1990, he finished eighth in the long jump at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand.
In 1992, Glenroy was named to Canada’s 4×100 relay team which made it to the semi-finals at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Glenroy won his first medal in a major international competition at the 1993 World Track and Field Championships in Stuttgart, Germany where the 4×100 relay team finished third. It was a sign of things to come. In 1994 the team struck gold on home soil at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, B.C.
Earlier the same year, Glenroy became only the seventh Canadian to compete at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games when he competed in both the two-man and four-man bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Making his gold medal at the Commonwealth Games even more impressive given the extreme differences in training and preparation.
In 1995 Glenroy won his first individual gold medal at an international competition by capturing the 100-metre title at the Pan-Am Games in Argentina. That same summer he won a gold medal at the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden as a member of the 4×100 relay team which set the stage for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
Despite winning every major competition heading into the Olympics, the Canadian team made up of Glenroy Gilbert, Bruny Surin, Robert Esmie and Donovan Bailey was still considered to be the underdogs by the media who expected the American foursome to defend their gold medal on home soil.
As expected the Americans and the Canadians both made short work of the competition to set up a highly anticipated showdown in the semi-final. The showdown turned into a romp for the Canadians who won by almost half a second capturing the goal medal in a breathtaking performance that is emblazoned into Olympic glory. It was the first time ever that Canada captured the relay gold medal, a feat that has not happened since 1996.
The team won gold again at the 1997 World Championships and the 1998 Goodwill Games. Glenroy competed for Canada for the last time at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney , Australia where the team was eliminated in the semi-finals.
After retiring from international competition , Gilbert began coaching for the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club. He went on to become Athletic Canada’s 4X100M relay team coach which expanded to Lead Coach for the Sprint and Relay Teams.
In 2008 he was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame with his former 1996 Olympic Gold Medal teammates. He credits his mom, Valma, who sacrificed everything to come to Canada in the early 1970’s to give her family a better life, and his community, including high school principal Glenn Munro who paid his first club membership because his family could not afford the expense.