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Deborah Miller-Brown


Craig Marshall Smith

As part of her training in high school, this Canadian track star ran against her male counterparts. She had two ambitions: becoming a member of Canada's national track team and competing in the Olympics. Deborah Miller-Brown displayed hard work and determination. In 1968, her dreams were realized, as she became the first Black Nova Scotian to participate at the Olympics.


Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Brown began her track career at age of eleven in Brantford, Ontario. The track records she set while in secondary school were an early indication of the success to come. Miller-Brown ran her best time, which was only two seconds shy of the world record in a race shortly before the Olympics. During her career, Miller-Brown also broke the Canadian women's record, in the 100-yard dash.


At age seventeen, Miller-Brown was one of the youngest track participants at the Olympics. She competed in the 100-yard event and with the Canadian women's relay team. Though failing to qualify for the finals, Miller-Brown clocked a time that led to her being ranked eighth in the world. Her hometown of Brantford was so proud of her accomplishments that the residents provided financial support through various fund raising events. A special fund was also collected to pay for Miller-Brown’s mother to accompany her to Mexico for the 1968 Olympics. Upon returning from the Olympics, Miller-Brown was awarded a Medal of Excellence in Sports from the Prime Minister.

Still involved in the sport, Miller-Brown has exchanged her participant role for a coaching role. Miller-Brown is currently coaching the track and field team at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.