Despite his disappointment in not qualifying for the 1,000 metre race, Morrison says he is proud to wear the Maple Leaf for a third Winter Olympics.
“Not a lot of people can say they’ve been to three Olympics. There’s a certain amount of pride to be taken in that alone. I’m kind of savouring the moment right now,” he admits. “I’ve never had to deal with so much adversity just to get qualified for the Olympics, and I’ve never even maybe realized before just how difficult it is just to make it to the Olympics. I’m feeling really proud right now, and I’m looking forward to representing FortSt. John and Canada in Sochi.”
Morrison also had a chance to compete in the 1,000 metre race and things looked promising until he fell in the last corner. He was able to re-skate the event and was surprised that was time was not good enough to make it into the event.
“Emotionally it was a roller coaster of events that happened. I was pretty much expecting to qualify in the 1,000 even with my re-skate,” he says. “I was thinking I still had a pretty good shot at being able to make the time and when I crossed the line and looked at the board I was fairly bewildered that I hadn’t qualified and got fairly emotional after that race.”
Morrison is now the first alternate for the Team Canada Speed Skating Team in the 1,000 metre race meaning that if one of the current Canadian skaters in unable to compete, Morrison will be first in line to compete in the race.
He admits that it was a struggle to let go of what happened in the 1,000 metre race and prepare for the 1,500 just days later.
“You want to make it an easy three days to prepare but the whole time you have this horrible race repeating over, and over, and over in your head and you try and distract yourself from that and remind yourself what has to be done still,” he explains. “It was challenging for me in a whole different way over any other competitive experience I’ve ever had to deal with.”
The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will be held from February 7-23.