Another Story on the legend of Norval Baptie. The Bathgate native, is a member of the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame and Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Do It Backwards
Once upon a time, long enough ago for this tale to become muddled folklore, there was a talented young man who desperately wanted a pair of skates. Times were hard, there was war and rumour of war, and hockey was fast becoming a popular diversion from all of it. Skates, and a very good pair of skates, ones designed by the fastest skater in the world, Norval Baptie, were particularly special and this particularly talented young man wanted them more than he had ever wanted anything. All he would have to do to get them would be to beat Norval Baptie himself in a race. Ever the showman and the gentleman, Norval Baptie offered to race backwards while his challengers could skate forward. Norval Baptie was at the height of his speedskating career at the time, but facing him while he skated backwards especially for such a pair of skates was a tempting challenge. The young man entered and the race was on, but as the race unfolded the young man realized something very quickly. He was losing. Not only could Baptie skate as fast backwards as the young man could skate forwards, the advantage was in Baptie's favour. He could see his opponents, and he could block them as they attempted to pass. With every stride, the young man's frustration grew and grew, till he was so angry he could spit.
Plaque located in Bapties hometown.