After being forced to miss the 2022 Pickleball Canada National Championship, professional pickleball player Steve Deakin returned to the 2023 nationals with a vengeance, earning medals in every category he competed in.
The Pitt Meadows star athlete was the victim of what he referred to as a “career-threatening wrist injury” last year that put him on the sidelines for much of the season, including the national championship in June. That made last week’s nationals his first return to the biggest stage in Canadian pickleball since 2021.
“There was questions around my health and about me creeping up in age, so I had something to prove,” said Deakin.
And prove it he did, earning an impressive three gold medals and one silver medal.
Deakin played with a variety of partners throughout the national championship, competing in men’s doubles 4.0 and above (ages 40 to 49), men’s doubles pro, mixed doubles 4.0 and above (ages 16 to 39), and mixed doubles pro, earning gold medals in every one of these categories except for mixed doubles 4.0 and above.
Earning a career-high number of national championship medals after returning from such a serious injury meant a lot to Deakin, who said he loved every minute of the tournament.
“Being part of Canadian pickleball as a whole has been tremendous. We’ve seen some incredible growth in the sport in recent years and I’m really excited to be a part of this growth in Canada.”
Deakin is hoping to continue this winning streak as he prepares to head back down to the U.S. to compete in a Cincinnati tournament in September.
“My body feels good and my game feels strong.”