Graham Vigrass retires from Canada National Team

CALGARY, Canadá, April 19, 2022 - After a nine-year career with the National Team including back-to-back Olympic appearances, Graham Vigrass is announcing his retirement from Team Canada.

Vigrass’ last event with the team was in 2021 at the Tokyo Olympics where the Canadians finished eighth. "Playing for Team Canada and competing in the Olympics was always a dream of mine growing up," Vigrass said.

The 2020 Games was his second Olympic appearance, after finishing fifth at the 2016 Rio Games – the best Olympic result for the men’s volleyball team since 1984 and first appearance since 1992.

Those Olympics stand out to the Calgary, Alberta native as the most memorable moment of his career. "It was so memorable because it wasn't just 12 guys who qualified,” he reflected. “There were a number of guys who were a part of the program that made it possible. As soon as I joined the team I realized there were so many players and staff trying to qualify for years.

“Us qualifying was because of the hard work of so many others and they didn't get to enjoy the Olympics but I hope they know they were a big part of it.”

The middle blocker has been a part of a number of key accomplishments with the National Team, including a seventh-place finish at the 2014 World Championships, bronze at the 2015 Pan American Games and at the 2017 FIVB World League, and multiple NORCECA medals, including a gold medal at the 2015 NORCECA Champions Cup.

Prior to joining the National Team, Vigrass played with the University of Calgary Dinos, leading them to a 2010 U SPORTS National Championship and 2011 bronze medal, plus a Canada West Championship bronze in 2010 and gold in 2011. He was named MVP in the 2010 U SPORTS Championship and followed that up by being the U SPORTS Player of the Year and MVP in the 2011 Canada West Championship.-

This became a theme for Vigrass, as he was also named Best Middle Blocker in 2017 World League, and Best Blocker in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League.

He’s had an extensive professional career, starting off in France with Arago de Sète in 2013-14 and making stops in Tunisia, Turkey, Germany, and Poland. Highlights from this his time overseas include a 2015 Tunisian Cup, a top finish in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 German Bundesliga seasons, and 2021 Turkish Supercup, and a 2022 BVA Cup, among numerous other medals.

"There are too many people to thank," Vigrass started. "First my wife, Kylie, for sacrificing a lot for us to live this life while raising our two boys. Also my family, who have always supported me so much. And to all the coaches I have had, there are too many to name, but they all had a big part in my career. I was very lucky to have such amazing coaches growing up which created my love for the game.”

Vigrass is the second member of the 2020 Olympic squad to officially retire from the men’s national team after Tokyo, with team captain Gord Perrin announcing his retirement in November.

Vigrass, now 32-years-old, is back in his hometown, looking to find that same passion he’s had in his career in sport. “I will be back in Calgary trying to figure out what is next,” Vigrass explained about his future. “I'm looking for a job where I can wake up and love what I do like I have for the last 10 years playing volleyball.”

“I think the team will be strong,” he concluded. "There is a good group of guys that have experience and a lot of skilled young players coming up. I think the level of volleyball in Canada is better than ever and I'm excited to see what they can do."