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Born in Eislebeu, Germany, Bode arrived in northwestern Ontario in 1951 and, shortly after, became heavily involved with local track and field. From 1953 to 1981 he was involved at the local, regional and international level.

From 1953 to 1960 he worked with the Port Arthur Olympic Club, serving as President in 1953, coaching the Lakehead Silver Spikes Track Club, later reorganized as the Olympic Club.

Away from the region from 1960 to 1963 while attending the University of Western Ontario, he quickly plunged back into track and field upon his return. In the 1960s he was chairman of the Thunder Bay Track and Field branch of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada, president of the Northwestern Ontario Track and Field Association and he organized the first indoor meet in the region at the Port Arthur Armory. Realizing the need for indoor facilities here, he was principal designer and worker on the region's first portable (wooden) track in 1964. Stored at Lakeview High, it was transported to various sites around the city including the Fort William Gardens and the Armory. Later with the construction of the 'Bubble' at Confederation College, it was no longer needed.

From 1963 to 1980 Bode was active as a coach of high school track and field athletes as well as officiating at more than fifty meets in the city.

At the provincial level Bode served as one of three on the Jury of Appeal at the Ontario Senior Track and Field Championships in 1969. Nationally in 1964 he qualified as a level 3 chief judge, chief timer and chief field judge. He was the 43rd registered track and field official under the National Coaches Registration Plan.

In 1965, he trained Thunder Bay people to serve as officials at the national cross-country championships held in the city that year. In the 1960s he served as throwing judge at more than half a dozen national championships and, in 1969, he served as one of three on the Jury of Appeal at the Canada Games Trials. He also served that year as head coach of the Ontario Track and Field Team at the Canada Games at Dartmouth-Halifax. Then, in 1981, he was track and field chairman for the Canada Games held in Thunder Bay.

At the international level he officiated as throwing judge at the Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg in 1967, as the finish judge at the Pacific Games in Toronto in 1972 and, in 1972 he was also asked to qualify as an official for the 1976 Olympics but had to decline the invitation on account of a commitment made previously disallowing him to train for the position in 1973-74.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 23, 1989

Lothar Bode

Track and Field
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