George Seymour Lyon, golfer (b at Richmond, Canada W (Ont) 27 July 1858; d at Toronto May 1938). George Lyon was undoubtedly one of Canada's most amazing athletes. At 18 he set a Canadian record in the pole vault. He played baseball, rugby and soccer successfully, was an excellent curler and lawn bowler, and he represented Canada at cricket (scoring 238 not out for his club, a Canadian record).
Although an outstanding all-round athlete, his chief claim to fame is his gold medal victory in golf in the 1904 Olympics at St Louis. At age 38 George Lyon took up golf and between 1898 and 1914 won the Canadian Amateur title 8 times. Some critics described his style as unorthodox, and in the words of one New York columnist, akin to "using a scythe to cut wheat." At age 46 he won one of only 2 Olympic gold medals awarded in golf, defeating US champion H. Chandler Egan 3-and-2 at St Louis, Mo (1904). One of his drives in the semifinal match was estimated at 299 m. Lyon had a second chance at a gold medal at the 1908 Olympics but decided to withdraw from competition: a dispute among British golfers caused them to boycott the Olympic Games and US golfers did not want to travel to the Games under such uncertain conditions. Lyon's was the only entry deemed acceptable by the Olympic Committee, who informed him that the gold medal was his by default. Lyon chose not to accept it, saying that he didn't feel he could accept a medal that he had not won fairly in competition. George Lyon continued to compete and won the Canadian title from 1905 to 1907 and in 1913 and 1914. Later, he enjoyed a successful career as a senior competitor. In 15 tournaments for the Canadian senior championship, he won 10 times and came second on 4 occasions. George Lyon is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame