FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Speed skater Denny Morrison is finding his stride as Olympic competition nears.
The Fort St. John product is currently participating in Calgary at the Fall World Cup Long Track Selections. Morrison said, “Yesterday was the first day of the competition. You get a pretty good feel for who has been training well. I want to do well in this competition especially in the 1,500 metre event.”
In 2015 and 2016 a horrific motorcycle accident followed by a stroke had Morrison taking a number of months off to recover from numerous injuries including a broken femur, but he says he is getting back to where he needs to be to compete against the best in the world in South Korea, “I’ve done a couple of events so far this season. Three weeks ago I skated in the 3,000 metre and set a personal best even though that’s a race I don’t ever compete in. Today in the 5,000 metre I was two tenths of second off my personal best time which I set in 2006.”
Other than knee swelling that requires icing and constant treatment, he says he has no ill effects from the crash, and think’s it’s phenomenal to be just off or setting personal best times.
This event is used to qualify skaters for the upcoming World Cup in November and December and Morrison is looking forward to his 1,000 and 1,500 metre races today and tomorrow as he strides to get back to his Olympic caliber speed as he looks to capture his first individual gold medal. In Sochi, he won a silver and bronze in the team pursuit events in the 1,000 and 1,500 m races.
He adds, “the Canadian team looks very fast as they are expected to medal in all distances. Ted Jan-Bloemen, Ben Donnelly, Jordan Belchos, plus myself could be the strongest pursuit team the country has ever had. I expect us all to have a great Olympic Selection competition in January.”
The 2018 Winter Olympics take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea starting February 9th.