WINNIPEG, MB, May 1, 2019 - Mike Green of Hamilton has announced his retirement from national team competition, ending his 23 year career as a member of Racquetball Canada's national team. He joins other sport legends such as Hayley Wickenheiser in an elite group of Canadian athletes with a national team career of that duration.
Green is a 4 time World Champion. He represented Canada at 32 international events, amassing 20 podium finishes including 2 Pan Am Games medals, 7 World Championship medals and 11 Pan Am Championship medals. In total, he competed for Canada at 3 Pan Am Games, 11 World Championships, 17 Pan Am Championships and 1 World Games.
Green has a long history of success at the elite national level winning 21 Canadian Championships in Men's Open singles and doubles events, which is a Canadian record. He also holds the Canadian record for the most Canadian Men's Open Championship titles with 11 wins and has won 10 Canadian Men's Open Doubles Championship titles.
Michel Gagnon, who was the National Team Coach for many of Green’s international appearances, speaks highly of Green’s skills. “For Mike Green, every international competition became a mission to reach the highest level of excellence,” said Gagnon.
“When you coached his high level matches, you had to be ready because he was ready. His success throughout his career was due to his sharp mind and three high level skills that he controlled very well; his extremely powerful and fast serve, his quick decision making skills and his outstanding ability to read his opponents and the flow of each match.
Brian Istace, who was a fellow National Team athlete also holds Green in high regard. “Mike Green deserves the utmost recognition in writing the final chapter of his national team career. Obviously he will go down in history as one of the most decorated Canadian athletes."
“Racquetball fans watch athletes compete on the court in a fishbowl environment,” said Istace, “so they will never know the subtle looks and the things said between opponents, nor will they really know what a fierce competitor Mike is. The other thing people will never truly know is what a great teammate Mike always was and how much fun it was competing in international events with him.”
In speaking with Green, he is very proud of his national team career. Although he knows he can still compete with the World’s best, he seems at peace with his decision. Like Istace, he also reflected on the joy of competing, especially in his earlier years when he shared not only a passion for the sport but strong friendships with teammates. Green also wonders how different his life and his athletic career could have been if racquetball had greater visibility in the sport community. Looking at his impressive list of accomplishments and his sport legacy, Green would be a household name in many other sports.
Green has a successful real estate career in Hamilton, which began to chip away at his available time for training. As for racquetball, although he is putting his membership on the National Team behind him, it is clear he still has a hunger for competition.
“You may still see me on the hunt for more Canadian Championships titles,” said Green. And that is something that any true sports fan would relish.
3 time Pan Am Games athlete, winning silver in singles in 2003 and bronze in the men's Team Event in 2015
7 World Championship medals in Doubles and Team Events (3 silver, 4 bronze)
11 Pan Am Championship medals in Singles (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and Doubles (1 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze)
21 Canadian Championships in Singles (11 gold) and Doubles (10 gold)
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