Gord Perrin is among a small group of Canadian volleyball players who have played in two consecutive Olympic Games, the most recent in Tokyo as captain of the men’s team. It’s the culmination of a stand-out national team career of more than a decade.
Gord Perrin announces retirement from national team
Published 04:34, 16 Nov 2021
Perrin has announced that Tokyo was his final national team appearance.
“It was one of my life goals to be an Olympian,” said Perrin, who joined the team when it was ranked 24th in the world. "I’m one of the few players who was there from the beginning of the climb to get the team where it is today, and it definitely did not happen by accident. The first quad was full of small victories that helped us climb the world rankings to tenth and a realistic qualification process which was still long and difficult, so that moment of qualifying for Rio really felt that all the hard work paid off." The team finished fifth at the 2016 Olympics.
Perrin was also part of many other key accomplishments, including seventh at the World Championships in 2014, a World League bronze medal in 2017, multiple NORCECA medals and helping the team qualify for Tokyo 2020. "My second quad with the team, getting our first podium on the world stage with a new mix of guys will always be remembered. I will always have fond memories of traveling the world and competing for my country; these guys have become my family and the relationships will last a lifetime."
Perrin, from Creston, British Columbia, began playing as a teen and spent three years at Thompson Rivers University, leading them to a bronze medal at the 2008 CIS Championship, where he was named a tournament all-star. He was awarded the CANWest Rookie of the Year his freshman season, was a two-time All-Canadian, and in 2010 he was TRU’s Male Athlete of the Year. Perrin joined the pro club Arkas Spor in Izmir, Turkey in 2011-12, where he won the Turkish league championship in 2013 and 2015. He has played professionally in Italy, Poland, China, Brazil, and currently Russia. Highlights from that timeframe include winning the 2019 CEV Challenge Cup with Belogorie Belgorod in Russia, and both the 2020 Brazilian Cup and the CSV South American Club Championship with Sada Cruzeiro in Brazil. He also finished second at the 2020 FIVB Club World Championships with Sada Cruzeiro.
“The most important coaches for me will always be my high school coach Mike Nelson and university coach Pat Hennelly. These two have taught me a lot of important life lessons and without a doubt I would not have been able to have the success I’ve had without their guidance and forgiveness. The volleyball lessons speak for themselves on the court but more importantly helping me mature off the court.”
Perrin also cites his parents, Ruth and Dave, as great supporters of his pursuits - his father passed away three years ago. "Losing my father has put this into perspective for me, and I think it's time for me to focus more on some important relationships in my life. How much sacrifice and expertise it takes to put you amongst the best in the world. Not only the stress it takes on your body and mind to compete everyday to get better but also the toll it takes on your personal life. I’ve dedicated my entire adult life to this team and this goal."
His sister, Alicia, also recently retired from the women’s national team programme.
Perrin, now 32 years old, will continue to play professionally overseas and will dedicate more time to his personal life. "I would like to thank all the coaches and staff that I’ve had the honour to work with along the way.
"I think Volleyball Canada has a good foundation of players to continue on and chase down bigger goals, I will always watch closely and still feel very invested in the success and evolution of the team.”