Gloriane “Glo” Perrier was born in Lewiston, ME on March 21, 1929, to Philias and Alma Gosselin Perrier. She had two brothers, Conrad and Marcel, and one sister, Therese. Glo graduated from Lewiston High School in 1949, and went on to work for the Department of the Army, as a secretary, until retiring in 1983.
She was active in and competed in multiple sports including softball, basketball, bowling, speed skating, canoeing and Olympic kayaking. According to an oral history with Glo, recorded at the Franco-American Collection in 1994, she started kayaking by accident. While playing softball, a friend asked her if she would be interested in bowling, and later, while bowling, another friend (an Olympic canoeist) asked if she would be interested in canoeing and kayaking.
Glo competed in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, the first time U.S. women competed in kayaking at the Olympics. In 1964, she and her kayak partner, 15-year-old Francine Fox, won the silver medal for 500 meter doubles in the Olympics in Tokyo. After Tokyo, Glo continued to travel and compete–while also coaching Olympic teams–for 9 years. She also dabbled in aviation and motorcycle riding. For the last 35 years of her life, Glo lived in Alabama with her friend Deb Magee.
Along with this kayak, we have other Olympics canoe/kayak related clothing; trophies and medals from canoeing, kayaking, softball, and bowling; and Perrier family items associated with Glo’s father Philias, brother Conrad, and sister Therese.
This is the tandem kayak in which Glo and Francine Fox won the silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The kayak was manufactured specifically for the Olympic Games by the Struer company of Denmark. The model style, Ribelle, is a K2 Racing kayak made of lightweight ply-wood and hardwood and is 21 feet long. The Ribelle style by Struer was only in production between 1960 - 1967. The seats are also made of wood and can be removed and adjusted. The kayak has a pedal steering system which would be foot-operated by the kayaker to control the rudder at the rear. The kayak has an Olympic stamp featuring the five Olympic rings and the words “Tokyo 1964.”