Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy 27th Birthday Vincent Gagnon!

You're one of the current Canadian men's doubles champions. You and your partner François Viens finally got over the hump at this year's Canadian National Championships and beat Mike Green and Brian Istace after losing to them in the finals in previous three years. It was your first Canadian championship to go with three junior Canadian titles (two singles, one doubles).

Although that title was your first Canadian one with Viens, it was your second overall, as you two won the 2007 Pan American Championship in Santiago, Chile defeating the American team of Andy Hawthorne and Jason Samora.

You earned your first Team Canada selection as a 19 year old, when you and Francis Guillemette qualified as the doubles team for the 2001 Pan American Championships, where you lost in the semi-finals to Polo Gutierrez and Gilberto Mejia of Mexico. Since then, you've qualified for Team Canada for seven of twelve events.

In your seventh appearance for Canada last month, you got to the semi-finals of the World Championships defeating Polo Gutierrez Sotres in the quarter finals before losing in the semis to Jack Huczek. You then beat Alvaro Beltran to qualify as the 3rd seed for the racquetball competition in the 2009 World Games in Taiwan.

You once said to us that you thought anyone could achieve what you have in racquetball if they'd put in the work you had. That humility is rare among elite athletes, and it's consistent with the gentlemanly conduct you show on the court every time out. In fact, we've sometimes wondered if you're too kind on the court.

Yet we're not sure that just anybody could achieve what you have on the court in the same way we're not sure that just anyone could have earned the advanced degrees in mathematics that you also have.

In short, we don't think just anybody could have done what you have, and we look forward to seeing you accomplish even more in the years ahead.

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