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Orvald Gratias, a native of Kinistino, Saskatchewan, enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan (B. Sc., 1928; M. Sc., 1930) in 1925. During his fve years on campus he competed in basketball, football and track & field.
He excelled in discus and hammer throw and was captain of the track & field team in 1930. In 1928, the Sheaf named him Saskatchewan's most versatile athlete. Coach Joe Griffiths later described Orvald as one of the greatest all-around athletes to wear the green and white.
He received a Major Athletic Award in 1930.
Orvald was president of the University Athletic Directorate and went on to be a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, studying particle physics.