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  Prairie Gold:
Sports Heroes From Saskatchewan
 
 
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George Genereux

Dr. George Genereux, one of Saskatchewan's best trap-shooters, was still a teenager when he captured Canada's only gold medal at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games in Helsinki. (Canada also won one medal in hockey at the 1952 Winter Olympics).

Later in 1952 George, just nineteen, became the first Canadian ever to win a major trap shooting competition at the Grand American shoot in Vandalia, Ohio. In that competition he finished in a first place tie with a score of 199 out of a possible 200. In a special shoot-off, George scored 24 out of a possible 25 to win the event. Because of his Olympic triumph in 1952, George was selected Canada's male athlete of the year.

He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1966 and in 1986 was selected for induction into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame.

Text courtesy of Ned Powers.


As a youth, George Genereux was practically a phenomenon in the shooting world. In fact, it was difficult to believe that any nineteen year old could be so uncannily accurate with a shot gun. The 6'3" native of Saskatoon won Canada's only gold medal at the 1962 Olympics at Helsinki, Finland. He became the first Canadian in history to win a major competition at the Grand American shoot in Ohio. He was among three shooters who broke 199 clay pigeons out of a possible 200. In the shoot-off he finished second with a score of 24 out of 25.

At time of installation citation read October 31, 1966.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame


George Genereux remains one of the most intriguing and inspirational stories in Saskatchewan sports. A virtual unknown, Genereux burst on to the trapshooting scene winning a gold medal at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. Most remarkably, Genereux was still a high school student at Nutana when he won the gold, as he only 17 years old at the time.

What makes his story even more exceptional is that Genereux was diagnosed at the age of the age of 16 as having Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although Genereux heroically overcame this debilitating injury for the Olympics, it cut short his sporting career at the tender age of 20.

Leaving his sport, Genereux found success field of medicine graduating from McGill Medical School and establishing a career in medical research and radiology.

Genereux died in 1989 at the age of 54, but will always be remembered for his tremendous success in sport and life.

Text courtesy of Prairie Gold.

Date: 1953.

Photographer: Hillyard, Leonard A.

Subject: .

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Jim Girgulis

Born in Kastron Greece, Jim came to Saskatchewan in 1910. He took up trap shooting soon after his arrival. Jim Girgulis was active as a participant, administrator and coach. As secretary he was instrumental in the development of the Saskatoon Gun Club. He is a life member of the Saskatoon Gun Club, The Edmonton Gun Club and the Amateur Trap Shooting Association. Jim maintains that his greatest achievement was coaching George Genereux to a gold medal in the 1952 Olympic Games at Helsinki.

As a participant, Jim Girgulis has an impressive record of personal successes. He was a member of the 1939 and 1941 Saskatoon team that won the Canadian Team Championship. Throughout his competitive career, he has won every major trap shooting event in Western Canada.

Installed in the Hall of Fame on March 22, 1975.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Jim Hill

In the winter Jim Hill curled. He won the Provincial Title twice and represented Saskatchewan in the Senior Curling Championships in 1970 and 1974.

In the summer, he was a trapshooter. In 1951, 1952 and 1953 he won the Provincial Trapshooting Doubles.

His biggest moment as a competitive athlete came in the Midwestern Doubles Championship in Winnipeg in 1952. Hill hit 94 out of 100 and 18 out of 20 in the shoot-off to defeat the top American competitor. The same year, he was chosen to the Sports Afield All Canadian Team.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

No photo currently available. If you have a photo to donate, contact the Local History Room at 306.975.7578 or lhstaff@saskatoonlibrary.ca.

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1939 Saskatoon Gun Club Trapshooting Team

Dominion Champions - 1939-1941

The Saskatoon Gun Club Trapshooting Team won the Dominion Team Championship in 1939 and 1941.

Jack Evans, Paul Schwager, Bill Geatros and Jimmy Girgulis were members of both teams, and with Don Hyndman, scored 488/500 in 1939. Then in 1941, with Dr. Eddie Nagle as the fifth member of the team, they won with a score of 493/500.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

Date: 1941.

Photographer: Gibson, John W.

Subject: .

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Photo 5 of 6. | | |

Richard Schell

Wilkie's Richard Schell began his career as a wheelchair athlete in 1978, competing in track and field, but it was shooting that took him to the world stage, at the Paralympic Games in 1988.

In 1959, Richard was involved in a construction accident that left him confined to a wheelchair. His accident didn't end his interest in athletics, but merely changed the focus of his activities. After competing nationally as a wheelchair athlete in discus, club throw, and javelin in the late 1970's, Richard joined the shooting team of the Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association and quickly made a name for himself.

At the 1981 Provincial trials Richard won two gold medals, in air pistol and air rifle. At the Canadian National Games that year he won another two gold medals in the same two events. He continued to be a force in the provincial and national wheelchair shooting championships throughout the 1980's, while at the same time competing in and winning championships for able-bodied athletes. In 1990 Richard was named to the Saskatchewan air pistol team, made up of three wheelchair shooters and three able-bodied shooters, at the Western Canada Games in Winnipeg. The team put in an outstanding performance, winning the gold medal.

Richard Schell's international career began in 1982 when he was named to Canada's Pan American Games team for wheelchair athletes. At those games, Richard won three gold, and two silver medals for air rifle and air pistol.

In 1984, as a member of the Canadian Wheelchair Olympic Team, Richard competed at the Wheelchair Olympic Games in Stoke, England in the air rifle and air pistol events. In 1987 Richard won team bronze at the World Wheelchair Air Gun Championships in Chino, California.

1988 was one of the most successful years of Richard Schell's career. At the Wheelchair International Shooting Championships in March he won gold in air rifle three position aggregate, won four bronze medals at the Smaller Canadian Nationals in July, and three gold and one silver medal at the Nautilus International Wheelchair Classic in Arlington, Texas. He was named to the Canadian Shooting Team that competed in the Paralympic Gamed in Seoul, Korea in October 1988. At that competition the Canadian team won a silver medal in the team air pistol event. This team was named Sask Sport's team of the year for 1988 in recognition of their outstanding performance at the Paralympic Games.

Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on June 15, 1996.

Text courtesy of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame

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Photo 6 of 6. | | |

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about some of Saskatchewan's sports heroes.

If you have a photograph of someone or a team listed in Prairie Gold that we do not have a photo for and are willing to donate it, please contact us.

Due to their nature and sometimes ambiguous origin the photographs seen here and those on file at the Local History Room are continuously being updated with new information. Some of this information comes from dedicated research done by Local History staff. However some of the biggest 'breaks' have come from the public... Those that remember the people, places and events in the photo are our biggest informational resource and we ask that if you have any information about the photos to contact the Local History Room at lhstaff@saskatoonlibrary.ca or phone (306) 975-7578.

Come and visit the Local History Room the next time you are at the Frances Morrison Library.

Thank you.

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