Olympian Brendan Green
Brendan Green: Hay River's World Class Biathlete in Competition
Brendan Green had one of the greatest sporting careers in Canadian biathlon history. He competed for 11 years on the World Cup circuit with over 200 starts, competed in 3 Olympic Games and anchored the men’s relay team to 3 World Championship Medals.
Brendan started cross-country skiing at about the age of three and began competing in local Hay River races at the age of 7, winning his first race at the PtHubs in 1994. He started biathlon training under the direction of Hay River coach Pat Bobinski in 1996. At 10 years of age, he was winning back-to-back gold medals in Alberta Cup Biathlon races and was the top NWT Cross Country Skier in his age category. He also excelled in track and field events, and competed throughout his elementary and high school years at NWT Track and Field Championships, setting records that are still upheld. The Arctic Winter Games provided him with his first international racing competitions where he achieved medal wins in 1998 and 2000. He attracted national attention in 2001 after winning gold and silver medals the Canadian Biathlon Championships. Later that year, he was selected to a special national program (the 2010 Development Team) to groom Canada’s top biathlon talent for the 2010 Olympics. His strong performance in this program enabled him to compete in a number of European races. A clue that he had a bright future in sports came when he finished first and second at the German National Championships – a biathlon powerhouse - against competitors from their top sports schools.
By 2005, Brendan was representing Canada at his first World Championship in Kontiolahti Finland, where he anchored the Canadian Youth Relay Team to a silver medal. In 2007, he anchored the Canadian Junior Team to a bronze medal finish at the World Championships in Val Martello, Italy. In the same year, he secured the NWT their only Canada Games gold medal with a win in Cross Country Skiing in the 15 km Freestyle Mass Start. Moving up into the Sr. Men's Category in 2008, Brendan closed out the season winning the North American Biathlon Championship title.
Later in 2008, Brendan qualified for a spot on the Senior National Team and the World Cup circuit. His World Cup debut was in the relay where he played a role in helping the team their best-ever 7th-place result. That year he raced in 12 World Cup events, including the 2009 World Championships in Korea.
Brendan achieved his dream of competing for Canada at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 by qualifying for the Men's 4X7.5 km Relay event. He managed to sustain his career for another 9 years competing in the Winter Olympics in Sochi RUS, and Pyong Chang KOR. after recovering from a serious back injury. Highlights include achieving Canada’s best ever Olympic finish in biathlon’s most elite individual event, the Mass Start, with a 9th place finish in Sochi. Another was anchoring the men’s relay team to a 2016 World Championships bronze medal in Oslo. His final year of competition was hampered by a severe shoulder injury, leading to his retirement from the national team in 2019.
It is worth noting that at the time Brendan was starting out, the TEST Program was drawing to a close. However, there had been a number of local ski coaches and athletes who had benefited from workshops and instruction from the professional coaches involved in this remarkable program. This meant that Brendan had mentors within our family and skiing community able to pass on their enthusiasm and knowledge of the sport. So, indirectly, he reaped some of the benefits of that program. He also had an extraordinary mentor in Pat Bobinski, his biathlon and shooting coach. Without Pat’s dedication to biathlon in our community, Brendan could never have achieved the successes outlined here. The NWT, Sport North and the Hay River Ski Club can take pride in that Brendan was a product of our local sports programs, who rose to the world class level while living and training in the north under the direction of local coaches.