» Ask & Answer with Dr. Doug Clement
Dr. Doug Clement
Dr. Clement is an internationally recognized former Olympic and Commonwealth athlete and coach who is now a Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia. As co-founder of the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, he taught and practiced sports medicine for over twenty years at the University. Dr. Clement is highly regarded for his insight into athletics from educational, medical and business standpoints. He has served as a Director of the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine, British Columbia Medical Association, Hamber Society, Thunderbird Society and the Achilles International Track and Field Society. He co-founded the Kajak Track and Field Club, Vancouver Sun Run and the Harry Jerome International Track Classic. He was physician to the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League as well as on the medical and coaching staffs of over twelve Olympic Games and World Championships.
Dr. Clement has been honoured with a number of academic and professional awards including: Order of Canada, Fellowship of the American College of Sports Medicine, Geoff Gowan Award for Lifetime Contribution to Coaching, Sports Medicine Council of Canada Lifetime Achievement Award, Centennial Medal, Canada 125 Medal, Wallace Wilson Leadership Award, R. Tait McKenzie Medallion, Daryl Thompson Award Sport BC, Vanier Award and the British Columbia and UBC Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2010, he served as Ambassador for the Vancouver Organizing Committee 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Currently, Dr. Clement is the Chair of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of British Columbia and the Yukon, President of Achilles International Track and Field Society, Trustee of BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and Director of the Telus Vancouver Community Board.
1. How did you get involved with athletics?
Recruited by Wally Strang of Quadra Track Club after running in Vancouver and District finals in Junior division in 1948. Played football and rugby in King Ed High School but was recruited by Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon in 1951 for track.
2. How would you describe your inner drive that propelled you during your athletic & coaching career?
As a freshman at the University of Oregon, made the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki at 18 years of age. This experience lite the fire of striving to be the best. Bowerman who went on to form the Nike shoe company, raised my sites to shoot for the best possible in all fields. He would be the greatest mentor for me in all aspects of life. He pointed me towards medicine as a career instead of my original goal of physical education. I was able to represent Canada in two Olympic Games and two Commonwealth Games basically as a member of our 4x400m relay team. We were 4th and 5th in the two Olympic finals and won the Silver medal in the Commonwealth Games
3. What is a personal accomplishment that you are most proud of?
- Playing a role with my wife, Diane in the growth of our family of two children and our three grandchildren.
- Playing a role in establishing sports medicine as a discipline in the UBC medical school which has produced sports physicians who are now leaders in other medical school in Canada as well as Stanford.
- Playing a role in the establishment of the Kajak Track and Field Club which has produced over two dozen Olympic athletes
- Playing a role in establishment of the Vancouver Sun Run which has grown from 3000 runners to almost 60,000 participants and helps guiding.
- Playing a role in establishing the Achilles International Track and Field Society which has produced indoor and outdoor international competitions since 1964 to the present. This year’s Harry Jerome International Track Classic will mark this meet’s 27th annual edition.
4. In looking forward beyond London 2012 to Rio 2016 & beyond, what priorities should ‘athletics’ collectively work together on to evolve & grow the sport?
Athletics Canada has been directed by funding issues of focus on success in the international arena. This demands that the provincial branches become more creative in building the infra structure of our sport.
5.If you could change one specific thing about our sport in Canada, what would you change? and why?
A central issue is the professionlization of coaching. We need to create financial support for volunteer coaches as well as professionals.