CALGARY, A.B. – Denny Morrison will join 15 other fellow Canadian athletes headed to the 2017 ISU Long Track World Single Distance Championships, one year prior to the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The speed skating meet will take place February 9th – 12th on the official ice of the 2018 Olympic Games in Gangneung, South Korea, as a test event.
The four-time Olympic medalist and native of Fort St. John was named to the Canadian team as a discretionary choice for the team pursuit event.
Morrison joins six men and four women that had already earned one or more available spots at the World Championships after being the top Canadians in various events. Jordan Belchos of Markham, Ontario, Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, Calgary native Ted-Jan Bloemen, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC, Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, Ontario, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, Marsha Hudey of White City, SK, Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB, Alexandre St-Jean of Québec, QC, and Brianne Tutt of Airdrie, AB have all been Canada’s top contenders this season.
Morrison’s qualification is a huge step for the speed skater, who is still on the mend following a motorcycle crash in May 2015, and a stroke in April 2016.
At the World Single Distance Championships, champions are crowned in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, mass start and team pursuit races, as well as women’s 5000m and men’s 10,000m.
Last year in Kolomna, Russia, Canada won four medals. Ivanie Blondin became World Champion in mass start, Ted-Jan Bloemen won silver in the 10,000m, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix got a bronze medal in the 500m, and Bloemen, Belchos and Donnelly climbed on the third step of the podium in team pursuit. Since the first event in 1996, Canada has won 76 medals.