Born in Portage LaPrairie, Gerald Gannon came to the Lakehead at the age of six months and began skiing at the age of eleven at the Port Arthur Ski Club (PASC). By 1955 he was dominating local events as he sailed down the hills of Port Arthur and Fort William. In 1955 he won the junior men’s downhill, slalom, ski jumping and combined events at the PASC championships. He also brought home gold at the Central division championships held at the Fort William Ski Club.
National success for this skier began in 1956 as he claimed silver overall in both the Canadian Junior Men’s Jumping and Downhill Championships in Mt. Ste. Anne, Quebec. One year later, he continued to dominate the slopes taking second place in both the Canadian Men’s Jumping and Alpine Combined and gold in the Canadian Junior Men’s Slalom. In 1958 he remained at the top of the podium after winning gold in the Canadian Senior Men’s Alpine Combined and silver in Senior Men’s downhill.
Being named to Canada’s National Ski Team in 1959, he took his talents across the border on a skiing scholarship to become a member of the University of Colorado Ski Team from 1959-60. While he was with the Colorado Buffaloes, the team won the 1960 NCAA Championships and Gerald was given All-American honourable mention. After much success on the slopes as an athlete he took on the role of coach for the Central Division Junior Men and Women’s ski team as they competed at the Canadian Championships in 1960/61.
Gerald’s exceptional ability on the ski hills was followed by a successful teaching career in Dryden, where he was also a superior coach, winning the Pete Beach award. His ability made him not only a decorated athlete in our skiing community but also rated him one among the top ten alpine skiers in Canada in 1957-58.
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 29, 1984