Angela Bailey, the Canadian women’s record holder in the 100-metre sprint and an Olympic 4×100 relay silver medal winner, has died after battling cancer under complicated conditions. She was 59 years old.
Bailey’s 1987 Canadian women’s 100-metre sprint record time of 10.98 seconds still stands today. She was also part of the women’s silver medal-winning 4×100 metres relay team at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
Athletics Canada confirmed Bailey’s July 31 death in a statement Monday and offered condolences to her family and loved ones.
“I was very sad to hear of Angela’s passing. I remember her as a talented and determined athlete,” Athletics Canada board chair Helen Manning said. “The Athletics Canada family sends their thoughts and sympathy to her family at this sad time.”
Bailey’s brother, Donald, said in a statement on behalf of the family that Angela died peacefully at home surrounded by her family.
“Angela was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in the fall of 2020 and valiantly fought for her health and family until her passing on the morning of July 31, 2021,” said the statement. “The diagnosis of lung cancer was unexpected and shocking as Angela never smoked and dedicated herself to a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise.”
The family statement said Bailey “persevered with amazing strength and resilience as she battled cancer alongside her five year struggle with mental illness.”
Bailey’s medal-winning relay team members, Marita Payne, Angella Taylor-Issajenko and France Gareau, also paid tribute to her in a statement.
“We are in shock and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our teammate, Angela Bailey,” said the statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to Angela’s family and close friends. She was a tremendous competitor on the track and we will always cherish the memories we made together. Rest peacefully our friend.”
Doug Clement, a former Olympic team doctor and a middle-distance track coach in the 1980s when Bailey was competing, said he recalled seeing and speaking with her at events.
“She stood out as a strong personality,” he said from Vancouver. “She stood out as the sort of person who was athletically and academically gifted. I would say she stood out as being a very vital person, a strong competitor.”
Bailey also won three silver medals in 4×100 relays at the Commonwealth Games in 1978, 1982 and 1986.
She set the Canadian 100m record in July 1987 in Hungary and earlier that year also won bronze in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships.
Bailey also holds Canada’s indoor track record for the 200m at 23.32 seconds.
She also competed in the 4×100 relay and 100m events at the 1988 Games in Seoul.
Bailey was part of the 1980 Canadian team that did not compete in the Moscow Games because of an international boycott.
Bailey earned a law degree from Queen’s University in 1996 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2003.
She was inducted into the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Athletics Ontario Hall of Fame in 2014.
—The Canadian Press