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Jackie MacDonald is a retired Canadian track and field athlete who has competed in two British Empire and Commonwealth Games Pan American Games, Olympic Games and World Youth Games. In addition, she has participated in competitive swimming, diving, basketball, water polo, cycling and rowing. She is a teacher with a B.Ed. and an M.A. in Linguistics. Ladies Don’t Do That is her first book. Scrapbooks of her involvement can be found in the Archives of Ontario. She finally retired from her last sport, cycling, at the age of eighty-seven. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, sewing, travelling and learning languages and volunteering as an English language teacher for refugees You can connect with her on Facebook.
In the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Jackie MacDonald burst onto the Canadian sports scene with an immense amount of publicity. The tall blond teacher, often compared to Marilyn Monroe, who put the shot, pumped iron and drove a Harley Davidson motorcycle, caught the eye of photographers even before she surprised the track and field community by winning a silver medal in the shot put only one year after she had started the event. When Canadian officials withdrew her from the discus throw at the last minute on suspicion of professionalism, the press erupted in condemnation of the actions of the team managers. She was exonerated a couple of days later but missed the chance of winning a second medal. She competed in four more international Games, including the 1956 Olympics.
A memoir told in four parts, Ladies Don’t Do That! offers insights into the origins of MacDonald’s passion for sports, her competition years in track and field, from the local to the international level and personal endeavours outside of sports including teaching and travelling. Perseverance, commitment, passion and genuine curiosity are central themes to this memoir. No matter what the author devotes herself to, studying linguistics, learning languages, teaching English to refugees as a volunteer, or seeking new experiences, she shows how dedication can yield a rewarding and interesting life. MacDonald exposes the sexism in women’s sport during the 40s and 50s, and the progress that has been made since then. She shows readers that women can do whatever they set their minds to.
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