Hay River’s Brendan Green has retired from biathlon at the age of 32, having represented Canada for the past 14 years – including three Olympic Games.
“I’m getting on,” he joked on day three of his retirement.
Other than continuing to be involved in the sport in some capacity – and getting married this coming August – he’s not sure yet what his next steps will be.
Green participated in many biathlon World Cups and the past three Winter Olympics, in Vancouver, Sochi, and Pyeongchang. At the sport’s 2016 World Championships, he anchored Canada’s relay team to bronze.
“The most meaningful Olympic Games was the Sochi Olympics in 2014,” said Green.
“Prior to that I had two fairly serious spinal surgeries and quite a complicated injury … in the lead up to Sochi.
“The injury was bad enough that it probably should have ended my career at that time, but I ended up returning to racing and qualifying for the Sochi team.
“That Olympics culminated in some really, really good personal results as well as just strong performances in general, which was great and and made for a special Games.”
Green suffered another shoulder injury this past spring – a bad dislocation that required surgery and meant he missed a lot of training last summer.
“I thought I would see what I could do and see what I could make happen,” he said.
“I was able to qualify for the World Cup team but, at the end of the day, I just wasn’t racing to my expectations and that’s when I decided Canmore would be my last World Cup race.”
His relay team finished 10th last Friday in the World Cup event in Alberta.
“I had a really, really long career with lots of great moments,’ he reflected.
“I thought if I could finish in Canmore on Canadian soil – and kind-of bring my career full circle, and have one last race in front of family and friends – that would make it a pretty special way for me to finish my career.
“It made for definitely an emotional and bittersweet race, but it was a really special day and I think the perfect way for me to finish.”
Three days into retirement
So far Green is enjoying retirement – he was just three days into it when he spoke with Cabin Radio on Wednesday night.
“I definitely don’t miss training at -25C so far,” he said, adding it’s been cold in Canmore lately though not as cold as the NWT.
So what’s next?
“It’s for sure an exciting but scary transition,” Green said. “I’ll definitely stay involved in biathlon in some way.
“I won’t be too far from any ski trails, that’s for sure.”
Green finished the interview by thanking everyone in the North. “Hay River and the entire North have always stood behind me through my highs and lows, throughout my entire career.
“So a really big thank-you for that.”