by George Gross
Doug GIlbert was one of the most knowledgeable and prolific sportswriters in Canada. His column in the Montreal Gazette and, later, in the Edmonton Sun, offered his readers an in-depth look at the world of sports.
He became an expert on East German sports when that country, then still behind “the Iron Curtain” was a powerhouse in world ‘amateur’ sport. He assembled his observations in a book called The Miracle Machine.
It was a sad day for Canadian sport journalism when, in July 1979, Doug was killed by an irresponsible driver in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Doug was hurrying toward the track and field stadium to cover the Pan Am Games pentathlon event in which he felt Canada’s Diane Jones Konihowski was a virtual ‘sure thing’ for a medal. He was right – she won the Gold Medal in the event – but Doug didn’t get to write the story.