The City of El Paso, Texas has named a new street in honour of University of El Paso graduate, Charmaine Crooks, who resides in West Vancouver.
Charmaine Crooks, CM (born August 8, 1962), is a Canadian athlete, five-time Olympian and Olympic Silver Medalist (LA ’84, 4X400m Relay). Charmaine was born in Mandeville, Jamaica, but represented Canada for close to 20 years in athletics. The first Canadian woman to run 800 meters in under two minutes, she won Gold medals at the Pan American, Commonwealth, World Cup, and the World Student Games. In 1996, she had the honour of being Canada’s Flag Bearer at the Opening Ceremonies of the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games. She is the fifth child with 5 sisters and 3 brothers.
Charmaine won the 400 meter title at the first Pan Am Junior Championships in 1980, as well as a silver in the 4 x 400 meter relay. In 1981 she won a bronze at the World Cup in Rome as a member of the America’s 4 x 400 meter relay team. She Won Gold medal in the 4 x 400 meter relay and placed 7th in a 9 women field in the individual 400 meter race at the 1982 Commonwealth games. In 1983 She won Gold in the 400 meters at the Pan Am Games, and a silver in 4 x 400 meter relay, as well as a silver in the World University games as a member of the 4 x 400 meter team. In 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics she won silver as a part of the team that set a national record of 3:21.21 for the 4 x 400 meter relay. She finished 7th in the final of the 400 meters in a p.b. of 50.45 . In 1986 she was again Commonwealth champion as a member of the winning 4 x 400 meter relay squad, and place 5th in the individual 400 meters; in a close race in which less than half a second separated the 2nd and 6th-place finishers. In 1987 she was on Canada’s silver medal 4 x 400 meter relay team at the Pan Am Games. In 1989 at the World Cup she won gold as a member of the America’s 4 x 400 meter relay team. She also took home two silver medals in the 400m and as part of Canada’s 4 × 400 m relay team; at the Francophone Games in Casablanca in 1989. In 1992 She won a silver medal in the 400 meters at the World Cup and was again a member of the winning America’s 4 x 400 meter relay team. At the Commonwealth games in Victoria in 1994, she was silver medalist in the 800 meters, and a bronze medalist in the 4 x 400 meters.
Charmaine is President/Founder of NGU Consultants (since 1994), a sports marketing, management and corporate consulting company, which provides strategic counsel and growth strategies to major corporations on a national and global basis. She is also a sought-after Keynote speaker, appearing at national and international conferences, corporate meetings and retreats and speaking on topics ranging from team building, leadership, inspiration and the Olympic Movement.
She was elected to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes Commission in 1996 and was elected as a full voting Member of the IOC from 2000-2004. She continues to serve on the IOC Athletes’ Commission, has been a Member of the IOC Press Commission since 2001, and was a founding member of the independent IOC Ethics Commission.
As an elected member of the Executive Board of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), she is Chair of Olympians Canada (alumni body of Olympians) and the COC’s Awards and Recognition/Hall of Fame Committee. As one of the original 2010 Olympic bid team members (since 1998) she is also one of twenty Directors for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), and served on both the VANOC Governance and Strategic Communications Committee.
From 2003-2011, Charmaine was elected by her peers to serve on the Executive Board of the alumni body of Olympians, the World Olympians Association (WOA) and was a WOA Vice President. She was the founding and first Chair of the PASO Athlete’s Commission. Charmaine is a founding member and past member of the International Board of Directors for Right To Play, an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization that uses sports to encourage the development of youth in disadvantaged areas.
Chairmaine Crooks is today a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.[
She is a current Board Member of the Canucks Autism Network (CAN) and has been a longstanding honorary Member of Big Sisters of the Lower Mainland since 2000.
In 2006, she was the recipient of the IOC Women in Sport Trophy.
By Douglace Clement