On July 6th 2014 Canada’s greatest all-time shot putter, Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, BC, received the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships bronze medal. Athletics Canada’s President Rob Guy was on hand, along with a few thousand others, to present the medal to the 33-year-old during the 2014 Harry Jerome Track Classic in Burnaby, BC’s Swangard Stadium. Afterwards Armstrong remarked, “I feel grateful to the IAAF that they’ve gone back and re-tested and taken the appropriate steps to resolve this case.”
During the supplementary ceremony, the sounds of Oh Canada filled the stadium, while a giant Canadian flag wavered in the gentle breeze on the track; a few wet eyes could be seen around building. It was a well-deserved honour for the humble man who is as known for his massive training practices as he is for his natural athleticism, but his work ethic is legendary.
After winning the shot put competition at the 2012 Victoria Track Classic, the 6 ft 4 inch, 345 pound athlete could be seen on the outside of the stadium track practicing his event, almost as if he was working out all by himself back at home in Kamloops. Meanwhile he appeared oblivious to the 2,000 spectators who watched the rest of the track meet carry on behind him. He was also a formidable hammer and discus thrower. As a junior he won world silver at the 2000 Santiago, Chile IAAF World Youth Games in the hammer event.
He holds the Canadian shot put record with his put of 22.21m, which he achieved in Calgary in June of 2011. His indoor best, which is also a Canadian record is a formidable 21.39m. He set that indoor distance record in Doha, Qatar in 2010. He is the first Canadian to win a global shot put medal; he owns seven and is the reigning Pan Am champion.
Armstrong was awarded the medal four years post-worlds because the IAAF, the worldwide governing body of track and field, annuled results of Belarussian shot putter Andrei Mikhnevich, dating as far back as 2005 for positive drug test results from that year’s worlds that took place in Helsinki, Finland. Mikhnevich is now banned for life. Therefore the annulment promoted Armstrong in international competition where the two were involved, including the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where Armstrong finished fourth and less than a centimetre from Mikhnevich’s put. Armstrong will now receive the bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at a later date, according to the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Armstrong’s best is the 44th longest put all-time, while only 13 men in history have put farther. The world record is held by American Randy Barnes with his 1990 effort of 23.12m, he also owns the second best put of 23.10m from the same year.
Armstrong plans to compete in the 2015 IAAF World Track and Field Championships that will take place Beijing, China as well as the 2016 Rio, Brazil Olympic Games.