Commonwealth Games javelin champ Phil Olsen dies at 63 of heart attack in Nanaimo

NANAIMO, B.C. — Phil Olsen, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and 11-time national champion in the javelin, died Sunday of a heart attack.

Olsen was 63.

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Olsen competed for Canada at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and won gold at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.

Olsen's wife Nancy told Nanaimo News Now that Olsen died while the two were out gathering firewood.

Olsen won NCAA gold while at the University of Tennessee, and likely would have competed at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, but Canada boycotted those Games. Olsen, who went on to be an education assistant at a number of Nanaimo high schools, is a member of the Nanaimo Sports Hall of Fame

According to Nancy Olsen, her husband's service arrangements are unclear due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2020.

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