The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

Theo Dubois

Swimming

1941


Photo of Theo Dubois sitting in his boat

Photo of Theo Dubois sitting in his boat

Date
1939
Collection
J. Wintrup

Premier sculler of the dominion

The road to the top can be long. Just ask Theo Dubois who literally packed his singles scull on his back and hitched rides for the 4500 kilometre round trip from Winnipeg to Minneapolis and St. Catharines on route to becoming the top sculler on the continent!

Singles sculling, United States National Association of Amateur Oarsmen (NAAO), Minneapolis, July 19, 1941. Theo Dubois gave 20,800 rowing fans watching their first regatta on the winding Mississippi river, their biggest thrill in the two-day event. Recalling the sting of two second place finishes at the 1940 U.S. and Canadian championships, Theo quickly pulled away from Joe Angyal of Brooklyn, New York. But Angyal stepped up his stroke and pulled even with 50 yards to go in the mile and a quarter course. Harnessing his powerful six-foot-four, 195 pound physique, he opened up a length and a half for the victory.

Singles Sculling,Canadian Association of Amateur Oarsman (CAAO) Royal Henley, St. Catharines, Ontario, July 26, 1941. Andy Lytle, colourful sports editor of the Toronto Daily Star wrote a piece on Theo Dubois, Henley victory, highlighting the age-old east-west rivalry,Theo Dubois, who was extended to the limit to snatch the championship form Joe Angyal, a visiting fireman form New York is possibly wondering if there is any appreciation in a Henley crowd for a deed well done. When he came to the stand for his medal there was scarcely a ripple of applause. He was the lone invader from the west with a big 'W' for Winnipeg etched on his sweater. He's been shooting at this Canadian crown for four years. He came through the channels to finally snatch it, to become the premier sculler of the Dominion. And after his triumph, after this long campaign of sweat and toil and heavy expenditure of his own money, all he gets from a grandstand half-filled with people is chilly indifference, a few scattered hand claps and a medal worth, perhaps three dollars!

Strapping Theo Dubois, first pulled an oar at the Winnipeg Rowing Club in 1926 at the age of fourteen, the very place he continued to row and coach until the age of ninety!

He drove a car for the first time in 1940, setting off in a Model A Ford lent by his coach, to compete at the United States and Canadian senior singles sculling championships. Theo suffered two losses in close and exciting races to legendary singles champion, Joe Burk of Pennsylvania. Theo returned home to train harder than ever but not before he flipped and destroyed the Model A and his wooden shell. Miraculously unhurt, his coach simply asked, "but how were your races?" Not surprisingly, Theo had to hitch a series of rides to the 1941 events!

Twice Crowned Champion Oarsman, Theo Dubois Named Winner of Lou E. Marsh Memorial Trophy Adobe PDF Transcript


Highlights

1934 - 1939
Northwestern Singles Champion
1939
U.S. Amateur Rowing Championships - won doubles; Canada Amateur Rowing Champion - won doubles
1940
U.S. Amateur Rowing Championships - 2nd place in single; Canada Amateur Rowing Champion - 2nd place in single
1941
U.S. Amateur Rowing Championships - 1st place in single; Canada Amateur Rowing Champion - 1st place in single
1941
Lou Marsh Memorial Award