Douglas Kyle, a revered two-time Olympian and the visionary founder of the Calgary Marathon and Calgary Track and Field club, has regrettably passed away at the age of 91. Tragically, Kyle’s life was claimed in a single-vehicle rollover in Calgary’s southeast late Sunday night.
A 2017 Chevrolet Spark, painted an azure blue, abruptly deviated from its course at the crossroads of 114 Avenue S.E. and 84 Street S.E., law enforcement reports. As the vehicle journeyed eastbound on 114 Avenue toward 84 Street, it neared a T-intersection and, without warning, strayed from the roadway.
Serious injuries ensued from the unfortunate event, although none threatening an immediate surrender of life, as recounted by onsite paramedics. Despite their best efforts in transportation and treatment, Kyle eventually succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The circumstances surrounding this event are currently under rigorous police investigation. Authorities were quick to eliminate the influence of drugs or alcohol in the collision.
A distinguished athlete, Doug Kyle proudly wore Canadian colours at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia and later in 1960 in Rome, Italy. He competed with purpose and skill in the 5,000m and 10,000m races. On introducing the disheartening news, Kyle’s son, Robert audibly contended with the raw sorrow of his father’s departure. “We love him and we miss him,” shared Robert emotionally.
The whole family rallied to the Foothills hospital with urgency but alas, were deprived of the chance to say their goodbyes. By their arrival, the great champion had bid his own farewell.
Kyle’s dedication to his sport, his city and a myriad of organisations he supported was fondly recalled by his grandson, James. Kyle’s legacy was not only left on the track, but also in the yearly tradition of the CALTAF Father’s Day run, which was attended by his son and grandson. A race that, Robert nostalgically recalls, they finally claimed the gold in just last year.
In 1963, Doug Kyle, not just a runner but a community icon, convened the inaugural Calgary Marathon, leading by example and triumphantly crossing the finish line first. A poignant reminder of his victory and legacy, his running shoes from the first race and his gold medal are cherished keepsakes still held by Run Calgary.
Jon Bird, interim executive director with Run Calgary and marathon host, said Kyle’s departure creates a significant void in the running community. Acknowledging Kyle’s profound impact, Bird highlighted how the Calgary Marathon evolved from a group of 19 racers in 1963 to a current spectacle of over 10,000 participants, collectively championing over a million dollars annually for charities. “What Doug has done is leave us a legacy for how to be involved in the community… and how to shape a community.”
Calgary police have issued a request for anyone with information regarding the collision, including potential dash-cam footage, to contact either the police or Crime Stoppers.