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Joe Keeper

Full name: Joseph Benjamin "Joe" Keeper
Gender: Male
Height: 5-6.5 (170 cm)
Born: January 21, 1886 in Walter Lake, Manitoba, Canada
Died: September 29, 1971 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Affiliations: North End Amateur Athletic Club, Winnipeg (CAN)
Country: CAN Canada
Sport: Athletics

Biography

Joe Keeper, a member of the Norway House Cree First Nation, took up long distance running in high school and began racing competitively in 1909. He joined Manitoba’s North End Amateur Athletic Club the following year, set a national 10-mile record in 1911, and won the 10,000 m event at the Canadian Olympic trials for the 1912 Games. In Stockholm he missed the 10,000 m podium, finishing fourth and 15 seconds behind bronze medalist [Albin Stenroos] of Finland, which remains Canada’s best placing that event. He also competed in the 5,000 m, but did not finish within the top seven. He continued running after the Games, but his career ended when he joined the Canadian Army in 1916. He served in France for two years during World War I, earning the Military Medal for Bravery, and remained athletically active, competing in the 1919 Inter-Allied Games.

Keeper returned to Manitoba after the war and earned his living as a carpenter and employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He is a member of Canada’s Sports, the Manitoba Sports, the Tribune Sports, the National Road Running, and the Manitoba Runners Halls of Fame. The latter also holds an annual Joe Keeper run (later jointly honoring [Angela Chalmers]), as does the Norway House Cree Nation. His son Joseph I was appointed to the Order of Canada for his work in First Nations community development and his granddaughter Tina is an actress who also served two years as a Canadian Member of Parliament.

Personal Bests: 5000 – 15:28.9 (1912); 10000 – 32:00.4 (1912).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1912 Summer 26 Stockholm Athletics Men's 5,000 metres Canada CAN AC
1912 Summer 26 Stockholm Athletics Men's 10,000 metres Canada CAN 4

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1912 Summer 26 Stockholm Athletics Canada Final AC
1912 Summer 26 Stockholm Athletics Canada Round One Heat Two 2 QU 15:28.9

Men's 10,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1912 Summer 26 Stockholm Athletics Canada Final 4 32:36.2
1912 Summer 26 Stockholm Athletics Canada Round One Heat One 2 QU 33:58.8
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