SwimmingClifford Barry, Canadian Olympian and Coach of Victor Davis, Dies at 75

Clifford Barry, Canadian Olympian and Coach of Victor Davis, Dies at 75


Clifford Barry, Canadian Olympian and Coach of Victor Davis, Dies at 75

Clifford Barry, a significant figure in Canadian aquatic sports, has died at the age of 75. Barry was a multi-sport standout, as he starred athletically as a two-time Olympian in water polo, and then found success as an Olympic coach in swimming.

Barry represented Canada in water polo at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and at the 1976 Games in Montreal. He was the team captain during his first Olympic appearance. Following his water polo days, Barry shifted his attention to the deck – and to swimming. He was a three-time Canadian Swim Coach of the Year (1982, 1984, 1986) and guided the career of Victor Davis, an inductee into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Barry is a member of the Canadian Swimming Coaches Hall of Fame.

Mentoring Davis was the highlight of Barry’s coaching career. Davis first won a world championship in the 200 breaststroke in 1982, then won that event at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where Davis also claimed the silver medal in the 100 breaststroke. Davis was the world champion in 1986 in the 100 breaststroke and took silver in the 200 distance.

“In my younger years, I was a competitive swimmer, but then I started playing water polo,” Barry once said. “After playing water polo, I went into coaching swimming. I loved the water and I loved people a lot. I had coached before, working in a boys’ club and also (coaching) little kids. I knew I liked it and I knew I wanted to be near the water. There were no coaching jobs in water polo at the time, so someone told me there was a (swim coach) job in Guelph. They hired me and that’s where I met Victor Davis.”





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