Richard W. Pound
Member, International Olympic Committee/ Chairman, World anti-Doping Agency/ Chairman, Olympic Games Study Commission
When Dick Pound first dunked into the shallow end of the local Ocean Falls, British Columbia swimming pool, little did he know that he was launching a career in sport that would take him to the highest levels of Olympic competition as well as to the pinnacle of service excellence in National and International Olympic Committee matters.
By the time Dick was 10 years old, he had long since graduated to the deep end of the pool, winning back-to-back Pacific Northwest 9-10 year old Age Group Championships in 1951 and 1952. Trained by Hall of Fame coach George Gate, Dick was Canadian Junior Boys (age 15-16) 100 yard freestyle champion in 1958, and the very next year, competed on Canada’s national team at the Pan American Games in Chicago. At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Dick was Canada’s only swimmer to make two finals, the freestyle relay and the 100 meter freestyle where John Devitt and Lance Larson touched head-to-head in a controversial finish. Dick was scarcely a second behind, finishing in sixth place. He continues to be distinguished as the last Canadian Olympic swimmer to final in the 100 meter freestyle event.
Following the Rome Olympics, Dick swam for another two years, competing at the 1961 U.S. Indoor Nationals at Yale and the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia where he won the gold in the 100 yard freestyle (setting a Commonwealth Games record), silver medals as a member of the Canadian 440 and 880 yard freestyle relays, and a bronze medal in the 440 yard medley relay. Dick was the first Canadian in history to swim under 49 seconds for 100 yards and 56 seconds for 100 meters. Not only was Dick Canada’s top freestyle sprinter from 1959 to 1962, he was also an outstanding intercollegiate squash racquets player, ranking nationally in both
singles and doubles.
Dick received bachelor degrees in Commerce and Civil Law from Montreal’s McGill University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Sir George Williams University. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Tax Foundation and the International Association of Practicing Lawyers. A creative and thorough scholar, he has edited and authored numerous publications
on tax and legal issues, published a biography of a noted Quebec judge, and, in 1994, the prestigious Boston firm, Little, Brown and Company published his Five Rings Over Korea: The Secret Negotiations Behind the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, a landmark work on the geo-political ramifications of the Modern Olympic Movement.
But it was Dick’s deep emotional respect for the Olympic Movement and the ethical values it represents that continued to fire his interest in sports. In 1965, he became Director of the Quebec Section of the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association. The following year he became Secretary-General of the Canadian Olympic Association, rising to the Presidency in 1977. In 1978, he was elected to the International Olympic Committee. Currently he is the senior Canadian IOC member, having served that august international body for a period of almost a quarter century. During his 24 years on the IOC, Dick has served terms totaling 17 years on the Executive Board, 8 years as Vice-President, 18 years as Chairman of the Television Negotiations
Committee, and performed important duties associated with IOC Commissions on marketing, anti-doping, environmental issues, judicial matters and athletes’ rights, among others. Dick’s new Olympic challenge is the post he now holds as Director of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the international body responsible for fighting the war against the use of drugs in sport.
Dick has provided the leadership and communication skills that have helped the IOC meet every challenge head-on for the past quarter century. He has devoted his life as an Olympic athlete, national federation official, President of Canada’s Olympic Committee and executive of the International Olympic Committee. As executive of America’s organization of NOCs, a dynamic
and respected leader of the IOC, an effective and professional lawyer and committed family man, he has helped to create better conditions for the youth of the next generation. Dick Pound does what is right for the good of the athlete and sport.
Pound resides in the Olympic city of Montreal, where he is a partner in the offices of Stikeman Elliott, one of Canada’s largest and most prestigious law firms with offices on three continents. He currently serves his alma mater, McGill University, as chancellor, having recently retired from the position, Chairman of McGill University Board of Regents.
Superior athlete, gifted lawyer, talented administrator, respected scholar and public service participant par excellence, Dick Pound has proven himself, literally, to be a “man for all seasons.” Honor to his name.
During his IOC tenure and as a member of many commissions and working groups, his initiatives and hard work paved the way for enormous strides made within the Olympic Movement. He has participated in more executive meetings than anyone in the history of the Olympic Movement other than former President Samaranch.
*Edited in part from the writings of Robert K. Barney, Ph.D., International Centre for Olympic Studies.
Recipients of the Gold Medallion Award.