LIGHTS, CAMERA, BITSYSep 7, 2021
Here’s a scenario we bet you have never thought of before: if all professional hockey players held a badminton tournament, who would be the winner? Iowa Wild forward, Will Bitten, is almost certain he would be in contention.
“I’d be top dog playing with my left hand,” said Bitten about his chances in a pro hockey badminton tournament. “A lot of people think it’s just an outside game, but if you want to get down to business… let’s get out on the court, and I’ll show you how it’s played.”
The Ottawa, Ont. native’s confidence comes from a lifelong love affair with the game of badminton. Bitten was first introduced to the game at three-years-old by his parents, Mike and Doris, who were both professional badminton players.
“My mom represented Canada at the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics, and my dad went in 1992,” Bitten said. “Growing up, my parents put me in a lot of different sports and badminton really helped with hockey. A lot of people say my speed and hand-eye coordination came from badminton.”
Life with a racket and shuttlecock in hand was bred into Will, and his brother Sam, when they were in diapers. The Bitten brothers were opponents in the Ontario Hockey League, Will for Hamilton and Sam for Ottawa, as well as brief teammates when they both attended Minnesota Wild Prospect Camps together in 2018 and 2019. The brothers greatest team effort has come off the ice, in the form of “Bitsy’s Army”, a charity founded by Sam.
“Our cousin, Martin Piche, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and unfortunately passed away a couple of month ago,” Bitten said. “He was a huge supporter of both Sam and my careers, and my brother wanted to create a charity for him. We’ve raised close to ten thousand dollars so far. It was my brother’s idea, and he has done such a great job, and I’ve tried to help as much as I can.”
For more information about “Bitsy’s Army” and to donate, head to Will’s Instagram (@willbitten14) for a link to the charity’s home page.
Instagram is one spot where Bitten says he spends the most time, compared to other social media apps, because most hockey players are very visual people.
“Pro hockey players are always traveling and always grinding,” Bitten said. “Instagram is a great way to see what your old buddies are up to and stay in contact with them.”
Of course, Bitten’s quick answer to his favorite follow on Instagram was none other than your Iowa Wild Instagram account (@iowawild).
We hope to see plenty of fans on one of our other social media accounts, Facebook, for a live interview on Sep. 8. Fans can join the chat to listen in and ask questions.
Iowa Wild hockey is presented by MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.iowawild.com.