Bermuda Day Grand Marshal 2017 – Our Sporting Heritage
Clarence Hill still savours the time he stood on the podium to receive his bronze medal for heavy weight boxing at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Feeling the medal round his neck was his proudest moment. He was the first Bermudian ever to win a Summer Olympic medal and to date is still the only one to do so. His win gave Bermuda the accolade of being the smallest nation and the least populated to win a Summer Olympics medal.
Born in 1951 to parents Ruth and Rupert Hill, he attended the Central School and Heron Bay junior schools in Bermuda. But his first exposure to boxing came when he moved to New Jersey in the US and attended Clinton Place Junior High. As soon as he started, he felt that boxing was something he was born to do. A trainer corroborated this feeling by telling him he was gifted. Watching champion Muhammad Ali box also encouraged him in his decision to become a heavyweight boxer. Aged 17, he returned to Bermuda and took up boxing again with the Bermuda Police and the Bermuda Boxing Association. His gift was soon noticed and he fought heavy weight boxers brought in by the Bermuda Boxing Association. He participated in at least 27 fights, held to packed audiences in the BAA gymnasium, with no losses. As a result he was eligible for the 1976 Olympics and began serious training under Stanley Trimm and Gary Smith. The rest is history. In 2005 he was inducted into the Bermuda Sports Hall of fame.
After the Olympic games, he became a professional boxer with a record of 18 wins, 3 losses and a draw.
Convinced that boxing keeps boys off the street and gives them self-worth, today he helps young men to train and speaks to students in the schools about the importance of leading self-disciplined and drug free lives.