Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport Virtual Museum of Canada


Few soldiers and athletes are able to raise the bars and achieve true excellence: Gerald Ouellette was one such military sportsman. Ouellette joined the Canadian Forces in 1955 and served as a Captain until he was tragically killed in a light aircraft crash twenty years later.

As a young cadet student, Ouellette's talents shone through and he was encouraged to take up shooting by his teacher and cadet instructor, Major Wynn Jennings. As a young member of the Canadian Reserve Army, Ouellette was disciplined to hone his shooting skills to the very highest standards. An impressive list of sporting achievements and Cadet shooting titles accompanied his young career: the 1951 Junior and Cadet Service Rifle Championships of Canada, the Ontario Provincial Services Rifle competition, the 1955 Canadian and Provincial .22 calibre Championship, the 1955 Ohio State Championships Indoor Smallbore competition. Indeed, so excellent was the young Ouellette he was awarded the Lieutenant-Governors Medal in 1952, awarded only to people who 'go above and beyond'.

Yet, Ouellette had not achieved anywhere near the highest levels that he knew he could achieve. In 1956 at the Melbourne Olympic Games, the world's greatest sporting stage, the young and still inexperienced Ouellette shocked the sporting world by storming to a victory of remarkable excellence. Sharing a rifle with his team-mate, Gil Boa who went on to take the bronze medal, Ouellette scored an unprecedented and perfect mark of 600 to win the gold medal.

Unfortunately, the Australian Olympic Committee, when converting the shooting range to the European metric standard had taken 1.5 metres off the required distance and Ouelllette's score was not recognized as the official world-record that it would have been had the organizers been more accurate. In recognition of such high standards, the Dominican Republic placed Ouellette on one of their stamps. A feat, no other Canadian sportsman or woman has ever achieved.

Photograph of Gerry Ouellette holding a rifle and medal
Gerry competed in his first big international competition at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. Displaying composure, focus and discipline he shot a perfect score of 600, winning the Gold medal in the small bore rifle shooting in the prone position.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Winchester small-bore target rifle
Gerry Ouellette used this Winchester 52 small-bore target rifle for many of his competitions. He was a versatile marksman, winning medals in small-bore, full-bore and service pistol shooting, showing his competitive nature and drive for excellence.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

triangular shaped postage stamp with image of Gerald Ouellette shooting - Melbourne 1956 - Republica Dominicana 1 Correos
Gerry is recognized not only by Canadians but internationally as well. This postage stamp from the Dominican Republic honours his Gold medal win at the 1956 Olympic Games.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Photograph of Gerry Ouellette lying down on the ground shooting rifle
Gerry exemplified the qualities needed by a superior marksman: focus, balance, discipline, patience and the will to win.
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

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