Head into Calgary’s Glencoe Club just about any day of the week, and chances are you’ll find Martin Giuffre on the badminton court.
Working hard at perfecting his game is really paying off: 25-year-old Giuffre is now the top-ranked badminton player in the country, soon heading off to Rio de Janeiro to represent Canada at the Summer Olympics.
“I couldn’t be more excited to go and achieve this dream of mine,” Giuffre said.
Training alongside him, 18-year-old badminton player Byron Holcek said Giuffre has definitely earned his spot in Rio.
“I’m really happy for him,” Holcek said.
“It’s great that a Canadian gets to go – even better that they come from Calgary.”
Having a Canadian badminton player qualify for the Olympics doesn’t happen very often.
Giuffre’s coach, Bryan Moody, represented Canada at the Sydney Summer Games in 2000.
“It’s the pinnacle of the sport,” Moody said, “and it’s almost here, so we’re thrilled for him.”
Before Giuffre leaves for the Olympics, fans will get a chance to see him and other top badminton players from around the world in action in Calgary.
They’ll be competing in this year’s Canada Open tournament, which runs from June 28 through July 3 at Canada Olympic Park.
And whatever happens in Rio, Giuffre isn’t hanging up his racket anytime soon.
“I love training, I love the atmosphere,” Giuffre said. “At the end of the day, I just have so much fun playing it.”