Hay River’s favourite biathlon son has called it a career.
Brendan Green officially retired following the men’s 4 x 7.5-km relay event at the World Cup stop in Canmore, Alta., on Friday. The team finished 10th with Green skiing the anchor leg of what would be his final act of duty for the national team, waving to the crowd on the home stretch all the way with one final wave once the skis were off.
In an interview following the race, Green said he was trying to keep his emotions in check in the days leading up to and during what would be his final race.
“This whole week, leading into this World Cup and the whole race, I was trying not to cry,” he said. “You see someone on the sideline, an old coach, and it would bring back lots of emotion. What a special way to end it here in Canmore, where it all began, in front of friends and family and my whole team. It was a really special race and an amazing way to finish.”
Green had been a member of the men’s national biathlon team since 2007, which was also the year he won gold at the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse in cross-country skiing. He was a member of the national junior team before graduating to the senior team and won a relay silver medal at the 2005 World Youth Championships in Finland. He was also a bronze medalist in the men’s relay at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Italy.
Green’s best result as a senior biathlete was the 2016 World Championships in Norway where he helped the men’s team to a bronze medal.
But he will be remembered by Northerners for his three Winter Olympic appearances and while he didn’t win a medal, he did manage two top-10 finishes: 10 th in the men’s relay in 2010 in Vancouver and ninth in the men’s mass start race in Russia in 2014.
Green said the bronze medal in Norway is perhaps the highlight of his career.
“It’s been a long career with a lot of great moments (and) for sure, that was probably the pinnacle,” he said. “That’s the dream moment that you train for so to be on the podium in Oslo was an incredible experience.”
Green’s career began at the Hay River Nordic Centre under the tutelage of Pat Bobinski, the late NWT Sport Hall of Fame coach, when he switched from cross-country skiing to biathlon at the age of nine.
As a kid, Green said he would have been happy to have just been selected for one Winter Olympics.
“Initially, I just wanted to go to one and that was Vancouver,” he said. “Had you asked me back then, I never would have dreamed I would never have dreamed of going to two more Olympics and having a career this long in this sport. I feel really grateful for the career I’ve had and being among so many great people.”