After 25 years and a world championship title, Lisa Fraser-Gilmore has retired from competitive four-wall handball.
Fraser-Gilmore actually left the competitive side of the game last November at the conclusion of the 2009 World Championships in Portland but took a three-month hiatus from training before making her decision public.
"I've had my shine in the spotlight, I've been playing for 25 years, there's nothing left that I need to win and looking back, I'm proud of what I've done," said Fraser-Gilmore, who returned to the handball court recently on a recreational basis and said she will continue to play for fun and fitness. "I'm happy that I did it now. Up until the end of last season, I was still being successful, in the finals (of tournaments) and winning, so I feel confident that I didn't walk away because I suck but I just think that it's time to just step away."
She retires as the top female player in Canada in her sport and is a member of Manitoba's Sports Hall of Fame. Fraser-Gilmore was the world women's singles champion in 1994, was runner-up in 1997 and 2004 and has won five U.S. national crowns. Since 1991, she has won 10 Canadian Open women's singles titles.
Fraser-Gilmore said her family life, which includes husband Darrell and their two sets of twins -- 10-year-olds Hannah and Harrison and five-year-olds Jackson and Carter -- factored into her decision. The main reason behind her decision to leave the competitive side of the game is the competitive drive that always fuelled her training and playing schedule has diminished.
"I was able to do it for a long time while I've had kids but it was hard to be in the court and being competitive anymore," said Fraser-Gilmore, a physical education teacher at Winnipeg's R.B. Russell Vocational High School.
"I'm just done. I found I just didn't have the same desire for outcomes anymore and I started to become more interested in watching the other players and seeing them develop. I look forward to watching the other women develop."
Fraser-Gilmore said the game has given her lifelong friends that she's met on the court and life lessons that she'll retain.
"It has taught me how to focus on the task at hand. Particularly when I was in school, I was training and working all at the same time," she said. "I've learned to use the time that I have for the quality not the quantity."