Year Inducted: 1994
Michael Clifton had an illustrious athletic career spanning from 1966 to 1986, both as a competitor and a coach.
Michael began swimming at age seven under the direction of Jocelyn Fraser at the then, newly constructed “Y” pool, on Fifth Street. He won his first race, at Montreal’s East-End Boy’s Club, by half a length of the pool, and never looked back.
In the next five years, Clifton would set twenty Ontario and Quebec Provincial Age Group records in three different strokes plus the Individual Medley, and establish six Canadian National Age Group records in three different strokes. He won many high level international competitions, and also held State and Meet records in New York and Massachusetts. Clifton was named High Point Scorer several times at Ontario and Quebec Provincial Championships and was a member of Canada’s National Age Group Swim Team.
Clifton returned to competitive swimming after a seven year absence when he enrolled in his first year at The University Of Western Ontario. In his first season, as a “walk-on”, Clifton was a medallist at the OUAA’s [Ontario University] and the CIAU’s [Canadian University] Championships. That year he received Western’s Freshman Swimmer Of The Year honours and was named All-Canadian.
In his sophomore year at Western, Clifton set a pool record in the 50 yard Freestyle at UWO’s Thames Hall Pool. He also won the 50 metre Freestyle at the East-West All-Star Meet in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He was a silver medallist at the OUAA’s and a finalist at the CIAU’s and the Canadian National Championships.
Clifton capped his second season at UWO by winning The Peter Fowler Trophy as Western’s swimming MVP and receiving All-Canadian honours for the second consecutive year.
In his next couple of years at Western, Clifton served as team captain and received the Purple W Award for outstanding acheivement in varsity athletics.
Michael Clifton coached swimming for several years after he left competition. He worked along-side his father, Hall of Famer Jack Clifton, with Cornwall’s Upper Canada Swim Club, and later coached the Etobicoke Olympium Master’s Swim Team in Toronto.