Donna-Marie Gurr started swimming with the Arbutus Swim Club at the age of ten. She later joined the Canadian Dolphin Swim Club and following in the footsteps of her idol Elaine Tanner, was coached by Deryk Snelling, both fellow BC Sports Hall of Famers. Gurr received the Order of Canada in 1976.

Gurr was Canadian champion in the 100m and 200m backstroke from 1969-72. 1969 was as dominant season as any for her. She won four gold and one silver medal at the national championships that year and five gold medals at the British championships.

At both the 1970 and 1974 Commonwealth Games, Gurr won silver and bronze medals in the backstroke events. She won three gold and one silver medal at the 1971 Pan American Games for the backstroke and the relay events.

At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Gurr won a bronze medal in the 200m backstroke. She was a member of the Canadian swim team at the world championships in 1973.