KNOWN as 'Hitler's Olympics', the 1936 Summer Games held in Berlin is regarded as one of the most notorious sporting events in history.

The Games were the first to be televised, with radio broadcasts reaching 41 countries and Germany's Chancellor Adolf Hitler saw it as an ideal opportunity to promote his government and ideals of racial supremacy and antisemitism.

The official Nazi party paper, the Völkischer Beobachter, wrote in the strongest terms that Jewish people and Black people should not be allowed to participate in the Games, but it was Jesse Owens of the United States, who won four gold medals in the sprint and long jump events, who would become the star of the competition much to Hitler's disgust.

Representing Canada in the games was a young man called James Worrall who had been born in Bury 22 years earlier.

Emigrating across the Atlantic to Montreal when he was just eight years old, Worrall received a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in 1935, before going on to practice law in Toronto.

He was also a keen athlete and won the 120 yard hurdles silver medal at the 1934 British Empire Games and was fourth in the 440 yard hurdles. He qualified for the 1938 British Empire Games but withdrew in order to attend law school.

At Berlin 1936, Worrall was selected as the Opening Ceremony flag bearer for Canada, likely because he was the tallest athlete on the team standing 1.96m tall.

Held at the Berlin Olympic Stadium on August 1 1936, the ceremony featured a flyover by the German airship Hindenburg flying the Olympic flag behind it with many of the nations' athletes purposefully giving the Nazi salute as they passed the watching Hitler.

Worrell was not successful on the track and was eliminated in the first round of both the 110m and 400m hurdles but that was not the end of his Olympic journey.

Following his competitive retirement, Worrell moved into sports administration within the Olympic movement. From 1964 to 1968, he was the president of the Canadian Olympic Committee and he rose to be a member of the International Olympic Committee – a position he held from 1967 to 1989.

In 1989, he was made an Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee. Worrall was also a member of the Board of Directors of the organizing committees for the 1976 Summer Olympics and the 1988 Winter Olympics which were both held in Canada.

In 1976, Worrall was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1987, he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. In 1991, he was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame.

Worrall’s autobiography, My Olympic Journey: Sixty Years with Canadian Sport and the Olympic Games, was published in 2000 and at the time of his death in October 2011, he was Canada’s oldest living Olympian, at 97.

Worrell died with his wife Birgitte and his children, Anna Jane, Brian, Brenda and Ingrid, at his side.

"The Canadian Olympic Movement has lost one of its greatest supporters today," said Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut, at the time. "He dedicated his life to sport, first as a- world-class athlete and then as a leader and builder."