Henry Gerow was but a young lad of 12 when he picked up his first firearm at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Junior Rifle Club in 1978. And that same year, he finished second at the Manitoba Junior Rifle Championships.
Countless provincial titles, national championships and international gold medals later, one of Manitoba’s best marksmen ever in smallbore rifle has joined the province’s most elite athletes of all time in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
And perhaps among his crowning achievements was a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan American Games in his home town of Winnipeg, finishing third in the prone competition with a score of 587 out of 600. But there were so many more highlights both at home and abroad.
Gerow still holds the national record for the indoor 60 metre shot event with a perfect score of 600 in May 1995. A little more than a year before that, he scored 1198 out of 1200 in the 120 metres. He also holds five Manitoba records in various distances and events.
Internationally, Gerow was right on target. He won the gold medal in prone at the 1993 U.S. National Championships in Chino, California, with a score of 1170 out of 1200. At the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia, he narrowly missed getting on the medal podium, finishing fourth.
He was also fourth at the MQS relay World Cup in Mexico City in 1992, scoring 590 out of 600, and finished sixth at the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, in 1998.
On the Manitoba scene, Gerow has dominated as few others have. Indoors or outdoors, he was rarely dethroned as a provincial champion in prone or air rifle as an individual but he also shone in team events, leading Manitoba to many titles vs. Saskatchewan over the years in a career that saw him excel through the 1990’s and into this century, capping his career with a national prone championship in 2000.