Abbott distinguished himself early on in his sports career, which began on campus in 1928. The Ridley athletic community quickly discovered this young man; though not the most imposing figure, he had an obvious talent for sports, which included boxing, gymnastics and middle distance running.
These first impressions of the late Abbott Conway merely hinted at the enormity of his talent; he went on to distinguish himself as an Olympic athlete. Looking back at his time at Ridley, Abbott had fond memories of the annual Sports Day, where he won both the junior and intermediate championships. His success on campus would sow the seed for his later career.
Abbott went on to the track team at the University of Toronto, where he was determined to get his first ‘T’ in boxing, swimming and athletics. After a successful university career in track, he competed in the Olympic trials and was selected to represent Canada in the 800m at the 1936 Berlin Games. Following his return from Germany, Abbott competed in the Empire Games. In 1941, Abbott enlisted in the war effort to 'repay a debt' to 'Cap’ Iggulden from his days in Ridley's Cadet Corps.
"The four years I spent at Ridley were of tremendous value to me. I went there about as ‘green’ as anyone could be—and while the experience did not ‘take the country out the boy,' it taught me how to compete with the ‘City Slickers.'"