Raised by his aunt and uncle, Canadian Hugh Thompson gained an interest in athletics while attending John Shaw School in Nanaimo, British Columbia. He quickly displayed talent in track and field, particularly at the 1,500m distance, and earned a chance to try out for the Canada’s 1936 Summer Olympic delegation by winning the B.C. Mile Championship in June of that year. The city of Nanaimo banded together to collect the $350 that was required to send him to Montreal for the tryouts and Thompson did not disappoint, earning himself a chance to represent his country at the Games. In the 1,500 metre event, however, he finished eighth in his heat in the opening round and was eliminated. Upon his return he worked as an exercise instructor and trained to compete at the 1938 British Empire Games, but a broken leg prevented him from making the journey. At the outbreak of World War II he travelled to England and joined the Royal Air Force, dying at the age of only 28 in 1942 following an airplane accident. He was inducted into the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 as a member of the inaugural class of pioneers.
Personal Bests: 1500 – unknown; Mile – 4:27.2 (1936).