Doug Anakin (1930 – 2020 )

Sport: Bobsleigh
Year of Induction: 2006


Doug was born in Chatham in 1930. He attended McKeough Public School and Chatham Collegiate. He became very interested in outdoor activities at a young age and this interest has been part of his life ever since. While teaching school for 35 years, he moved from skiing and mountain climbing to representing Canada in luge and bobsled racing around the world. The pinnacle of his success was winning an Olympic Gold Medal in the four-man bobsled event.

Career Highlights
  • 1952 – 1961 – attended Queen’s University where he was on the wrestling team – after graduation, taught high school and coached around Ontario including 1 year (1958-59) at Chatham Collegiate – after 1 year of teaching in London, England, where he skied all winter and mountain climbed all summer in Austria, taught school in Windsor and taught skiing in Michigan
  • 1961 – 1962 – returned to Europe where he met up with John and Vic Emery whom he had met at university and who were bobsledding in Germany – also became involved with Canadian Purvis McDougal and became one of first luge racers to represent Canada internationally
  • 1962 – 1967 – taught at Mount Royal High School in Montreal, coaching football, wrestling, and skiing
  • 1962 – 1963 – during winter, competed in bobsled and luge in Austria and Lake Placid
  • 1963 – 1964 – joined bobsled team in Cortina, Italy for training and then to Innsbruk, Austria for luge training – February 1964 – at Innsbruk, along with Vic Emery, John Emery, and Peter Kirby, won the Olympic Gold Medal in four-man bobsled, a sport dominated by the Europeans at that time – competed in the luge event but dropped out after 2 runs because of minor injuries and conflict with bobsled
  • After the Olympics, he continued to represent Canada in bobsled, most notably in the 1967 North American Championships at Lake Placid and the World Championships at Cortina, Italy. After retiring from competition, he began to promote lugeing, by coaching and helping to design luge tracks in Canada. Doug looked after a group of Canadian athletes at the 1970 Olympics in Munich, Germany and he coached the Canadian Luge Team at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.

During his 35 years of teaching, Doug taught and coached 19 years at John Abbott College in Montreal retiring in 1990. Because of his involvement at the school, his commitment to his community, and his passion for outdoor activities, the school established the “Doug Anakin Scholarship for Outdoor Pursuits” which is presented annually to a student who best demonstrates Doug’s traits.

Doug passed away in April of 2020 at the age of 89, and is survived by his wife Mary Jean, their two daughters, 5 grandchildren and his sister Shirley Templeton who still resides in Chatham. His daughters and grandkids share his love of the snow, the water and the hiking trails.