Maybe it’s too early to talk about the legacy of Brendan Green as a world-class and Olympic biathlete. After all, he just retired late last week.
What is a legacy, anyway? According to our trusty Canadian Oxford Dictionary, it is, in this sense, something left behind by a predecessor. By that definition, Green certainly has created a legacy already, and a very impressive one at that.
Just consider his many sporting accomplishments, highlighted by appearances at three Olympic Winter Games and an historic bronze medal for Canada in 2016 as part of a biathlon relay team at the world championships. That was Canada’s first medal of any colour at the world championships in a sport dominated by Europeans.
Those sports accomplishments would be enough by themselves, but Green is retiring with many more positive examples set for today’s youth (and today’s older folks, come to think about it) and for future generations.
Of course, there is the really invaluable example that, just because you live in the North, it does not mean you cannot lay a solid foundation in sports or in any other walk of life. Like Green, other young people may have to go South to get the coaching and competition to excel in their sport, but being from the North should not be viewed as a handicap.
Green has proudly told his story of being from Canada’s North all over the biathlon world.
Even while reflecting upon his retirement, he was sure to recognize Hay River, and noted, “There are so many people in the North that dedicated valuable time and resources to help me achieve my sporting dreams.”
We at The Hub can testify that he has never forgotten his roots, because he has been extremely accommodating over the years in keeping his hometown paper – and its readers – up to date on how he has been doing in competitions. All we had to do was e-mail questions – often to somewhere in Europe – and he would invariably answer them.
Green also offers an example of determination and strength of character, especially in dealing with injury – including recovering from spinal surgeries – and continuing on with his biathlon career.
Hay River can thank Green for an illustrious 14-year career as a world-class athlete, because he has put this community on the map for many people in the world.
In fact, he has undoubtedly become one of the best-known people from Hay River. (After we wrote the preceding sentence, we checked on Wikipedia and his only real competition seems to be ‘Buffalo Joe’ McBryan and Mikey McBryan because of their reality TV show, Ice Pilots NWT.)
It will be interesting to see what Green turns his sights on now that he has officially retired from biathlon competition.
While he won’t be racing anymore, we wish him every success in whatever he does next.
If the past is any guide, Brendan Green will continue to build on what is already a very impressive legacy.