Jack Cameron

This is a picture of Canada's 1924 gold medal Olympic gold medal winning hockey team. That was the very first year of the Winter Olympics were held, although Olympic hockey dated back to the 1920 Summer games.

Canada was represented in 1924 by the Toronto Granites, a nearly unbeatable team of ex-World War I servicemen. They beat virtually every amateur team in Canada, as evidenced by back to back Allan Cup championships in 1922 and 1923, so it comes as no surprise that they dominated the best the world could offer.

When discussing the Toronto Granites success in 1924 most of the talk centers around their unmatchable goal scoring exploits. After all, they outscored the opposition by a combined total of 110-3, in just 5 games, including defeats over Czechoslovakia 30-0, Sweden 22-0 and Switzerland 33-0.

When the play is that lopsided, the goaltenders do not usually grab a lot of headlines. The Granites were one of the rare early teams to use two goaltenders, using both Jack Cameron and Ernie Collett between the pipes.

I believe Mr. Cameron is pictured above and to the right. Cameron played in 3 of the 5 games, and he saw little action. Legend has it he did find ways to keep busy during the game though.

Due to the lengthy stretches of action in the opposition's zone, Cameron was said to have made the most of his time by frequently skating to the side boards of the outside arena to chat with young ladies watching the game!

In Andrew Podnieks' excellent book "Canada's Olympic Hockey Teams" Cameron denied the stories of his flirtatious wanderings, but he did mention one young lady.

"The only girl I remember was a little blonde 11 year old figure skater on the Norwegian team," Cameron told Podnieks. "When she wasn't competing, she sat on our bench. Her name was Sonja Henie and she was a great booster of the Granites."

Henie may have helped the Granites win gold in 1924, but she came in dead last in figure skating that year. Of course, she did go on to a dazzling gold medal win in 1928 and followed that fame up as a both a professional skater and a popular star in motion pictures.

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