2015 marks the Year of Sport and the 60th anniversary of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In recognition of these important milestones, OLM will be featuring Honoured Members of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in a weekly Profile piece.
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame aims to share the stories and achievements of its Honoured Members to inspire Canadians in all aspects of life.
Fast, strong, flexible, coordinated and enduring, decathlete Dave Steen is an icon of the ultimate all-round athletic test. His success in the competition demonstrates the value of commitment and integrity in every sport.
With a former decathlete and coach as a father, Steen naturally became interested in athletics at a young age. He excelled in track and field throughout his youth and won the Sport BC High School Athlete of the Year award in 1977.
Limited indoor training facilities in BC led Steen to seek more options in California. Steen then moved to Toronto where he trained full time, working out six to seven hours every day.
The athlete’s rise to fame began with a decathlon victory at the 1979 Canada Games. Only a few years later, he won a silver medal at the 1982 Commonwealth Games and broke the 8000 point barrier no Canadian had ever exceeded.
Between 1983 and 1986, Steen won gold at the World University Games, the Pan American Games, the Pan Pacific Games and silver at the Commonwealth Games. He was also able to set three world records in the pentathlon in 1983, 1984 and 1986.
Steen ended his 13-year career after winning a Bronze Medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. It was the first time Canada stood on the podium for decathlon.
In recognition of his achievements, Steen has been inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, as well as the Order of Canada in 1990. He is now a vocal advocate against drug use in sporting, a spokesperson for the Canada Games and an Ambassador for the Government of Canada’s Fair Play Commission.
To learn more about Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, visit sportshall.ca.