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Gary Reed

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Personal Info

Born On:  October 25, 1981
Hometown:  Kamloops, British Columbia
Resides:  Kamloops, British Columbia


Canadian runner Gary Reed wrote in a seventh grade yearbook “Track is Life”. Looking back, he could not have been any more right. His early commitment and passion to the sport has led to a better life for Gary and his family.

Raised by his mother in British Columbia, Gary only met his namesake and father, Gary Thomas Reed Sr., once in his life. Gary, his older sister and his mother lived in a trailer park for the better part of their lives and ate at food banks. Still, Mary instilled a confidence in Gary that translated to all walks of life, especially the track.

Mixed race, having a white mother and black father, Gary had trouble fitting in mostly white British Columbia. Because of Mary’s job situation, the family moved around the country a lot. Their final move took the family to Kamloops where there was a legitimate track and field program. The move came at the request of Gary who wanted nothing more than to run.

Running was a solace for the Canadian speedster, it became the way he would make a name for himself. As a youngster he ran around and his mother would pretend he just won a gold medal for Canada. His mother’s commitment to her native soil is one reason why Gary, despite having dual residency from being born in Corpus Christi, Texas, has never considered competing for anyone but Canada.

Gary, a specialist in the 800m, is the Canadian record holder in the 800m with a time of 1:43.92, the first Canadian to ever break 1:45. A silver medalist in the 2007 World Championship in Osaka in the 800m, Gary holds two national titles and seven national championship medals. A very versatile athlete, Gary has won medals in the 200m, 400m, 600m, 800m, decathalon, long jump and triple jump in his amateur and professional career.

In 2001 he decided to dedicate himself to the 800m and believed coach Wynn Gmitroski was the best to prepare him for the Olympics. This led to a move to Victoria where with little money he rented an apartment and furnished it with a single chair, sleeping on the floor for three months. His determination appeared ready to pay off.

His mother and sister joined him in Beijing, watching Reed live his dream. The trip was a small token of his gratitude to his mother. Like his mother did for him, Gary is motivating young children around Canada by talking to about five schools a month as part of the RBC Olympians program.