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With lightening speed and determination, Don Domansky blazed the path for other northwestern Ontario track and field athletes to follow. Growing up in Port Arthur, Don quickly established himself as the premier track and field athlete in the area at a very young age. In 1964, at the age of eighteen, he became the first Lakeheader to break the 10 second barrier in the 100 yard dash. Later that year, he captured the 220 yard championship at the National Age Championships.

Not surprisingly Don’s accomplishments earned him a number of offers from American colleges who were eager to have him join their track team. Don proudly raced with the UCLA track team for four years, winning the mile relay in 1966 at the NCAA championships as part of the Bruin’s national championship team.

During this period, Don also competed for Canada in major international events. His accomplishments during this period included: a bronze and silver medal (respectively) in the 440 and 4 x 400 relay at the 1966 Commonwealth Games, a bronze medal at the 1967 Pan-American Games where he was named Captain of the Canadian track team, and competing in the 1968 Olympic Summer Games in Mexico City.

In 1968, Don returned home to continue his track and field excellence and accept a post at Lakehead University. Although disappointed with his performance at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, he staged an amazing comeback by winning a bronze medal at the 1975 Pan-American Games as a member of the 440 relay team and qualified for the 1976 Olympic Summer Games in Montreal. At the Games, he served as a member of the Canadian record setting 4 x 400m relay team that finished in 4th place, just out of the medals.

After the Olympics, this exceptional athlete turned his attention to the building side of the sport, going on to coach and organize the next generation of Thunder Bay track and field athletes.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 28, 1985

Don Domansky

Port Arthur
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