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Orval Gravelle

Full name: Israel Jean Orval Gravelle
Nickname(s): Red
Gender: Male
Born: December 7, 1927 in Alymer, Québec, Canada
Died: January 18, 1997 in Trenton, Ontario, Canada
Affiliations: RCAF Flyers, Ottawa (CAN)
Country: CAN Canada
Sport: Ice Hockey

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

Early in his life, ice hockey defenseman Orval “Red” Gravelle strove to join the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League and trained in their camps four times to no avail. As a junior, he played with the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Aylmer Shamrocks during the 1943-1944 season, and played one year with the Hull Volants of the senior level before returning to the juniors with the Ottawa Senators. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1947 as a machinist and, a year later, he was recruited to the RCAF Flyers, an ice hockey team that was to represent Canada at the 1948 Winter Olympics. Aged only 20, he was the youngest member of the team. At the tournament he played in eight games, scored three goals, and helped his country take home the gold medal that year. After returning from the Olympics he was finally offered an opportunity to go professional with the New York Rangers, but he turned it down, wanting to raise a family instead. He did, however, play amateur hockey in Quebec and Ontario for many years, including three with the RCAF Flyers (1948-1951), a game with the Ottawa Senior Senators (1950-1951), two seasons with the Smiths Falls Rideaus (1951-1953) and a final one with the Pembroke Lumber Kings (1953-1954) before retiring. He died in January 1997 when he was struck by a train in an attempt to get his pet dog out of its way. A lifelong hockey enthusiast, he had competed in the Snoopy Senior Ice Hockey Tournament in Santa Rosa, California for the last 18 years of his life and had also coached junior hockey in Belleville, Ontario. After his death, his Olympic gold medal and sweater were donated to the Trenton Air Force Museum. He was an inaugural member of the Quinte West Sports Wall of Fame in Ontario when it opened in 2009.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Men's Ice Hockey Canada CAN 1 Gold

Men's Ice Hockey

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result G AST PIM
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Canada CAN Final Standings 1 1948-01-30 3 0 4
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Canada CAN Round-Robin Match #2 1 1948-01-30 CAN 3, SWE 1 0 0 0
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Canada CAN Round-Robin Match #9 1 1948-02-01 CAN 3, GBR 0 0 0 0
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Canada CAN Round-Robin Match #14 1 1948-02-02 CAN 15, POL 0 2 0 0
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Canada CAN Round-Robin Match #17 1 1948-02-03 CAN 21, ITA 1 1 0 0
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Canada CAN Round-Robin Match #22 1 1948-02-05 CAN 12, USA 3 0 0 0
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Canada CAN Round-Robin Match #25 1T 1948-02-06 TCH 0, CAN 0 0 0 0
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Canada CAN Round-Robin Match #29 1 1948-02-07 CAN 12, AUT 0 0 0 0
1948 Winter 20 Sankt Moritz Ice Hockey Canada CAN Round-Robin Match #35 1 1948-02-08 CAN 3, SUI 0 0 0 4
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