Calgary’s athletic community is sharing fond memories of Douglas Kyle after the accomplished long-distance runner and trailblazer passed away recently.
Kyle – who was the Calgary Booster Club’s 1969 Sportsperson of the Year – represented Canada in track-and-field at the 1956 and 1960 Summer Olympics. He also won a silver medal in the 10,000 metres and a bronze in the 5,000 metres at the 1959 Pan American Games.
He co-founded the Calgary Marathon in 1963 and finished first after competing in the inaugural race.
“Nineteen people started that race in 1963 and now we have over 10,000 people raising over a million dollars each year to charities, so his impact is pretty profound,” Run Calgary interim executive director Jon Bird told CTV News Calgary.
“What Doug has done is leave us a legacy for how to be involved in the community and how to be a leader within the community and how to shape a community.”
Both Doug and his wife Carol were major advocates of the Calgary Marathon and active volunteers who helped with all aspects of the event. Carol Kyle was named the Calgary Booster Club’s Sportsperson of the Year in 2012.
“Doug and his wife Carol, who were married for more than 60 years before Carol passed in 2021, were steadfast supporters of the Calgary Marathon, attending volunteer orientations, parties, medal reveals and, of course, race day,” noted the Calgary Marathon in a Facebook post.
“For decades, Doug and Carol parked their folding chairs just before the finish line and manually recorded finishing times and bib numbers for backup. Doug loved to shake hands with the winners and hand out prizing to top athletes.”
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame also recognized Doug in a social media post.
“Everyone at the Hall is sad to hear the news of Honoured Member Doug Kyle’s passing. He was an incredible athlete who held many track records. He was inducted in 1959 as a Track & Field Athlete. Our thoughts are with his family and friends,” read the statement.
The following statement was released by Kyle’s loved ones:
“On behalf of the family of Doug Kyle we would like to thank everyone for their best wishes at this extremely difficult time. We are grateful to Doug for his many contributions to Western Canadian Track & Field. As well, Doug was a long-time member of the Rotary Club and the Calgary Stampede Parade Committee and was a former president of the Calgary 55+ organization. Doug founded the Calgary Marathon, and was a founding member of the Calgary Track and Field organization (CALTAF) … Doug will be deeply missed by all of us.”
Doug died in a single-vehicle rollover in southeast Calgary at the age of 91 on Sunday, August 27th.
- Calgary Booster Club 1969 Sportsperson of the Year – https://calgaryboosterclub.com/recognition/sportsperson-of-the-year/doug-kyle-1969-sportsperson-of-the-year/.
- Olympian and Calgary Marathon founder Douglas Kyle remembered – https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/olympian-and-calgary-marathon-founder-douglas-kyle-remembered-following-crash-1.6538594.