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Remembering Victor Davis

Nov 11, 1999

On November 11, 1989, Victor Davis was struck by an automobile in the Montreal suburb of Ste.Anne de Bellevue, thrown bleeding and comatose into the street in front of the Royal Canadian Legion in the early-morning hours of Remembrance Day, writes Dave Stubbs, a close personal friend and now a Sports Feature Writer in the Montreal The Gazette.

Victor survived another 57 hours on life support at Notre Dame Hospital. He never regained consciousness and was declared clinically dead shortly after 1 p.m. on Nov.13, 1989, succumbing to a severly fractured skull.

His parents Mel Davis and Leona Heyens said goodbye to their son and decided to donate his heart, kidneys, liver and corneas for transplantion.

At 6 p.m. Claude Jacques a 51-year-old printer, a father of four, was wheeled into an operating room and an Olympic champion's huge, athletic, 25-year-old heart was squezzed into his chest. Now 61 Jacques is doing fine.

We remember Victor, and the gifted coach (Cliff Barry) who guided him to uncommon greatness.

Stubbs covered Victor's accident and death, at the same time serving as a spokesman for his family. He wrote the obituary, eulogized hit at his funeral, carried his cremated remains to the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, N.Z. and helped scatter them in the tribal waters of the Maori, not far from where he won his first international gold medal (1981 Pan Pacs at age 16).

Victor epitaph is his personal motto, rallying words for his teammates.

It reads: "Go Big Or Go Home."

The record at major competitions:
DAVIS, Victor (10 FEB 1964-1989)
WC82 1st 200 breast, 2nd 100 breast
CW82 1st 200 breast, 2nd 100 breast
CW86 1st 100 breast, 2nd 200 breast, 1st 4x100 MR
OG84 1st 200 breast, 2nd 100 breast, 2nd 4x100 MR
WC86 1st 100 breast, 2nd 200 breast OG88 2nd 4x100 MR
World records 200 breast, 2:14.77 (82), 2:14.58 (84), 2:13.34 (84)