Down, John – 2006
Down, John – 2006
2006 Bell Memorial Award
John Down began his newspaper career in 1960 in Saskatchewan, moving to Manitoba in 1965 and returning to his native Alberta in 1972 as sports editor of the Edmonton Journal. John is best known for his coverage of golf and chuckwagon racing. He has also covered many other sports, including curling, football, hockey, lacrosse, speed skating, horse racing, world championships and the 1978 Commonwealth Games and the 1988 Winter Olympics.
John's golf coverage has included many city, provincial and national tournaments, the Canadian Open, several PGA, Senior PGA, Nationwide and LPGA tour events. He has also written, edited and produced weekly golf sections for the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald. John always provides the stories and scores on all golfers and not just the favourites.
When John moved back to his hometown of Calgary in 1978, he joined the sportswriting team at the Calgary Herald. He broke the story on the city's bid for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, covered the initial seasons of the Calgary Flames, amateur and pro football, curling, golf and chuckwagon racing. He moved to the Calgary Sun in 1982 as sports editor and while there, launched Backswing and special sections on chuckwagon racing. He received five media awards from the World Pro and Canadian Pro Chuckwagon Associations for his coverage, which included being named Chuckwagon Racing Sportswriter of the Year in 1989, 1994 and 1997.
John Down returned to the Calgary Herald in 2000, where he continues to cover golf, chuckwagon racing, hockey, lacrosse and various winter Olympic sports. He also helps the Chuckwagon Radio Network as he adds his passion, colour, character and insight of the sport.