George Lyon, against all the odds, with his “coal heavers’ swing”, won the Gold Medal for Golf and a spectacular trophy at the 1904 Olympic Games.
He returned to Toronto, Ontario in September to be celebrated by Canadians and golfers around the world. He went on to numerous further golf glories, National Championships and recognition as one of Canada’s greatest athletes – for a time.
But then George Lyon’s contribution to golf and his legacy were forgotten. Our memory of Lyon was lost and so too was his Gold Medal. The Championship Cup is safely ensconced at the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in Oakville, Ontario but his medal – the last gold medal awarded for golf - has never been found.
A replica given to Lyon’s family by the IOC hangs in the pro shop at Toronto’s Rosedale Golf Club. Fittingly, it was at Rosedale that Lyon put down his cricket bat and first took a golf club from his friend John Dick. Lyon confessed to a mild contempt for the game. Was it a serious sport?
Nine holes later he had that magical experience known to golfers everywhere – he fell in love with the game.
Where is Lyon’s Gold Medal? We may never find it but we can rediscover the legend of his path to the Olympics and the brilliant game he played to win it 110 years ago on September 24th, 1904 .
"But then George Lyon's contribution to golf and his legacy were forgotten. Our memory of Lyon was lost and so too was his Gold Medal."