Canada's First Gold Medalist

Etiénne Desmarteau won the gold in the 56 pound weight throw, beating James Flannigan by less than two inches. A Montreal policeman, he was fired after taking a leave of absence to compete in St. Louis. After news hit Canada of his gold medal, Desmarteau came home to a hero's welcome…and his job restored. The Ettiénne Desmarteau Center in Montreal, built for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, is named in his honor. Image courtesy Missouri History Museum.