Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Dick Pound's 400,000-page archive to go digital

History identifies Richard Pound as the feisty Canadian who went to bat for clean sport at the International Olympic Committee; as the executive who saved the IOC from going broke by developing marketing strategies for TV rights and the five-ring Olympic logo; the lawyer who risked unpopularity by investigating the corrupt voting practices of fellow IOC members in the Lake Placid Olympic voting scandal.

But when it came to sorting out 400,000 pages of documents in his archive, the Montreal lawyer and former Canadian Olympic swimmer mixed his national sentiment with the historic skills and library skills of the University of Texas at Austin.

Montreal's McGill University and Texas-Austin will process and digitize the massive Richard W. Pound Olympic Collection. Pound's Olympic materials comprise 350 boxes -- a 100-metre plunge into Olympic history that ranges from the drama of the Ben Johnson doping scandal to backroom negotiations for TV rights. There are 700 printed titles, a significant body of regalia, more than 850 pin sets, medals, statuettes, coin sets and 12 Olympic torches.

Story continues below advertisement

"I don't want this thrown in some vault where it's not used. The purpose is to have available for scholars a resource that is probably unique in North America," Pound said.

"It's probably the pre-eminent archive of this kind in the world," said sport historian Steven Ungerleider, an Austin alumnus who penned Faust's Gold, a disturbing book detailing the East German doping machine -- and a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency ethics committee.

Ungerleider facilitated cooperation between McGill and Texas-Austin. The Texas university's program in sports media is coordinating the project.

Pound was on the Canadian Olympic Committee from 1968-1982, the last five years as president. He became a member of the IOC in 1978, served on the executive committee for 16 years and was vice-president from 1987 to 1991 and again from 1996 to 2000.

Pound, who ran for the IOC presidency in 2001, was one of its cornerstone figures as it moved into the 21st century. His research into voting corruption at Salt Lake City led to the resignation or firing of 10 IOC colleagues and the reform of campaigning by cities who would be candidates to hold Games. He was the founding chairman of WADA, established in 1999, to co-ordinate the international fight against doping.

Pound is the author of several books, including Five Rings over Korea, a saga of the political negotiations leading to the success of the 1988 summer games in Seoul; Inside the Olympics and Inside Dope.

He was chancellor of McGill University from 1999-2009 and is a partner of the Montreal law firm Stikeman Elliot, specializing in tax law.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Sports reporter

James Christie written sports for the Globe on staff since 1974, covering almost all beats and interviewed the big names from Joe DiMaggio, to Muhammad Ali, to Jim Brown to Wayne Gretzky. Also covered the 10 worst years in Toronto Maple Leafs hockey history. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Globe Newsletters

Get a summary of news of the day

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.