The Hamilton Spectator published this article on November 29, 2017.
Mike Green won his first national racquetball title in 2000. That was in doubles. Two years later, he won his first singles title. Then he kept winning. Today, he’s built his resume to include 10 doubles championships and 11 in singles. Those 21 golds are a Canadian record.
Amazingly, he won both crowns again this year despite being 44 years old and facing competitors less than half his age. Heck, even the incoming executive director of his sport’s governing body is younger than him.
The trouble is, he plays racquetball which is the stealth bomber of sports. It flies under the radar and is largely ignored by basically everyone. He’s not only one of this city’s most-dominant athletes of all time but remarkably he’s still at the top of his game.
If anyone else was closing in on two dozen national championships — not to mention numerous international golds, silvers and bronzes — they would be a household name and well-rewarded already. Yet, infinitely more people around here know Red Green than Mike Green, who’s never even been a finalist for this honour.
Next year, we have the Olympics. On that massive stage, someone is going to stand out. Kia Nurse will likely have another NCAA title by the end of 2018. The Hamilton Bulldogs could so something special. Any number of things could happen in a highly visible sport that will make athletes in those sports a shoo-in for next year’s award.
This year, however, it’s time to hand the trophy to someone who’s been ignored for too long and who has earned some recognition from his hometown.
Nobody deserves it more.