Clarke shows no signs of hanging up his sticks, and playing for his country remains the ultimate goal.
"It's a massive honor. Any sport you're involved in, the pinnacle is to represent your country," he said.
That he has been able to survive at the top of the tree for that long is testament to Clarke's commitment and a fitness program that begins at 7 a.m. each morning.
He practices on the ice for about two hours, in the gym for an hour and a half followed by about 45 minutes of rehabilitation and stretching.
"We consume lots and lots of food, way over the recommended daily allowance," he said.
"Especially for me because I struggle to keep my weight on."
The world over, ice hockey is a tough and physical sport and Clarke has his tales of woe.
"Broken leg twice, a few knee ligament injuries, concussions. A few pucks, sticks in the head but we have good dentists and good doctors on hand."
He first picked up a stick at his local rink when only six years of age and, aside from the brief flirtation with football, was dead set on representing Britain at ice hockey.
He progressed through the under 18 and 20 ranks, eventually taking his place in a GB lineup with players he had considered "his idols" when watching as a youngster.
"When he first broke into the British squad at the turn of the century his talent was obvious," said Ice Hockey UK's media officer Chris Ellis.
Clarke's regular position is as an offensive forward "expected to contribute goals and in assists" and his standout abilities earned him a one-year contract with Alleghe in Italy in 2007.
"He is one of the few British players to play abroad at the top level," said Ellis.
But the lure of home proved too strong and he returned to Nottingham for another successful spell.
The Elite League has a heavy schedule, ending in April when Clarke will again hurriedly form up with the GB team as they bid to erase memories of their Latvian disappointment.
"We've got the world championship which is in Budapest this year and that will be our next focus ... we'll give it our all," he said.
Britain plays in the second tier of competition -- the top pool dominated by the likes of the United States, Canada and Russia -- but will be bidding to improve its 21st ranking.
It's a far cry from the days when a GB team took bronze in the 1924 Games in Chamonix, and capped that with gold in Germany 12 years later.
The sport's powerhouses Canada and the United States took the silver and bronze, but with the NHL going to strength to strength in North America the foundation for their later domination was forged.
The break-up of the Soviet Union also made it tougher for the likes of Britain to take a place at the top table, with countries such as Latvia and the Belarus forming strong national teams, with many of the players competing in the Russian league.
After those early Olympic successes, the British influence at the highest levels faded fast, but it has been a popular spectator sport and in the late 1980s enjoyed a revival with top teams featured on national television.
Sadly, momentum was lost, and the likes of Clarke have the satisfaction of taking part in a sport with strong regional identity, but without the sponsorship to attract widespread TV coverage.
He is already looking to the future, and believes that in the junior group he coaches, there are players with potential to do "very big things" in the future.