One of Canada’s finest swimmers of the 1960s, Ron Jacks started swimming at six years old. His family moved to Vancouver from Winnipeg in 1955, and within two years Jacks was enjoying competitive swimming. In his formative years, he trained with the Vancouver “Y” swim club, under Canadian coach Ted Simpson, until its demise in 1966.

While swimming with the ‘Y,’ Ron won many medals at the 1964, 1965, and 1966 national championships, and attended the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo as a member of the Canadian swim team. He would also join the Canadian team for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and the 1972 Munich Olympics.

In April of 1966, after training in California under Olympic coach Don Gambril, Jacks took the bronze in the 100-yard butterfly at the US nationals and won a full athletic scholarship at the University of Indiana. He attended Indiana from 1966-72, and trained under coach Doc Counsilman.

During the summer months, Jacks returned from Indiana to participate in the Canadian championships, winning numerous medals and setting seven Canadian records between 1965-72.

In 1966, at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, Jacks won his first international medals: gold in the 110-yard butterfly, gold in the 440-yard medley relay, and silver in both the 440-yard medley relay and the 880-yard freestyle relay.

Over the next few years he would follow this with a series of international medals: three silver (400m medley relay, 400m freestyle relay, and 800m freestyle relay) at the 1967 Winnipeg Pan American Games, two silver (400m freestyle relay, 800m freestyle relay) and one bronze (100m freestyle relay) at the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia.

In 1972, Jacks retired from competitive swimming and turned to coaching and training many of Canada’s top swimmers, including BC Sports Hall of Famers Shannon Smith (1976 Olympic bronze medalist) and Pam Rai (1986 Commonwealth Games gold medalist).