Thelma (Fynn) Wright’s compelling and impressive international track career began at age seventeen when she represented Canada for the first time at the 1969 world cross country championships in Scotland and later that year at the Pan Pacific Games in Tokyo.

The next year she went on to win bronze medals in both the world cross country championships and the Commonwealth Games in the 1500m. Wright represented Canada at both the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games in the 1500m and won another bronze medal at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand.

By the end of 1974, Wright was ranked in the top-fifteen in the world in both the 1500m and 3000m, the latter the newly recognized longest event for women at the time. Perhaps her single greatest performance was the silver medal 3000m run at the 1975 World FISU Games in Rome. Her time of eight minutes 54.9 seconds ranked her fifth in the world. A silver medal in the Pan American Games’ 1500m later that year and winning the Canadian cross country title seven times in the 1970s are also career highlights.

Wright graduated from UBC with a BPE, was named BC and Canadian University Track Athlete of the Year in 1974, and was inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.

Wright was an active coach for over twenty years: her most notable success was coaching fellow BC Sports Hall of Famer Lynn (Kanuka) Williams to a bronze medal in the 3000m at the 1984 Olympics and a gold at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.

For this she received Coaching Excellence Awards from the Coaching Association of Canada and BC Athletics Coach of the Year title in 1984. In 1987 she was honoured with a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award.

As an endurance athlete, Wright was ahead of her time and she has continued to give her energy and enthusiasm back to the sport that has meant so much to her. Decades later her times still rank her as one of Canada’s all time top 3000m runners.

Wright is also inducted in the UBC Sports Hall of Fame. For her UBC biography, please visit