Missing: Canada's only Olympic oak
Has anybody seen a German oak (querqus peduculata), about 70 years old, somewhere in Canada? Presented to gold medallist paddler Frank Amyot in 1936 and last seen at a ceremony in Ottawa.
Where is Canada's only Olympic oak? They've been described as the most eccentric prizes in the history of the Games: oak seedlings, potted and presented as a "gift of the German people" to each of the 130 gold-medal winners at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
These "Olympic Oaks" -- sometimes dubbed "Hitler Trees" because of the Nazi leader's association with the Berlin Games -- were proudly accepted by such champions as
American track and field star Jesse Owens, taken to their home countries and planted as living symbols of the Olympic spirit.
One of those historic trees was awarded to Canada's only gold medallist in Berlin, Ottawa paddler Frank Amyot, and the seedling was celebrated in September 1936 at a civic ceremony welcoming home the conquering hero.
But what happened to Canada's solitary Olympic oak after that is a mystery, one that confounds a Carleton University professor who has been searching for the tree -- or any hint of what became of it -- for more than a year.