A tribute to Barrie Johnson – Small town athlete sets records

He was well known for his passion for sports and broke many records during his years in Nakusp.

Barrie was born June 5th, 1945 and passed away September 11th, 2006 from a losing battle with cancer. He was well known for his passion for sports and through a combination of tenacity and talent broke many records in his elementary and high school years in Nakusp. Barrie went to Trail to take Grade 13 so that he could train with Willie Kraus. He was awarded a four-year track scholarship at Washington State University and became a member of their track team competing in various parts of the United States. He was the first B.C. boy to hold the triple jump and broad jump records at the same time, an achievement that lasted for over 30 years.

When he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education degree from the Washington State University, he had broken at least 49 track records and had won the Canadian championship for the triple jump at 49 ft. 11 ¼ inches and later bettered his own record at 50 ft. 5 ¼ inches.

Barrie started his teaching career with the Vancouver School Board; he later received his Masters degree at UBC and became a registered Triple Jump Coach. He was selected to represent Canada at the National Athletic team at the first Pan Pacific Games in Japan and even though he was not well, he came in 5th in Tokyo and 4th in Osaka.

Barrie, born in Nakusp, was third generation of the Johnson family to live in this small town. His parents, Dave and Doris Johnson got their schooling here with Dave also showing a facility in track and field. Barrie’s grandparents were pioneers on the Arrow Lakes and his grandmother, Kate Johnson, was the author of the first little history book written about Nakusp and the Arrow Lakes.

Written by Rosemarie Parent – Special to The Arrow Lakes News

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