Speed Skating — PyeongChang 2018
2010 Olympic Gold Medalist – Team Pursuit
2014 Olympic Silver Medalist – 1000m
2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist – 1500m
2006 Olympic Silver Medalist – Team Pursuit
2012 and 2008 World Champion – 1500m
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Since winning two medals in Sochi 2014 – including a silver-medal performance in the men’s 1000m after teammate Gilmore Junio’s selfless gesture – Denny Morrison has lived through one of the most challenging and extraordinary years imaginable.
On May 7, 2015, Denny was involved in a vehicle collision that almost claimed his life when a car turned left in front of him.
He was launched from his motorcycle and woke up in the hospital 36-hours later with a horrific list of injuries: a broken femur, torn ACL, fractured elbow, lacerated liver, ruptured kidneys, a punctured lung, global internal damage, and a moderate head injury.
Determined to skate again, Denny completed his comeback with a dramatic, and surprisingly competitive race, at the Olympic Oval Finale only 9-months after the accident, on March 18, 2016.
With his comeback complete, Denny and fellow speed skater Josie Spence, planned an off-season bike trip on the Arizona Trail — a 1200km route from Mexico to the Northern Utah border.
It was after the trip on a relaxing day in Salt Lake that Josie, who is trained in first aid, recognized the symptoms of a stroke and insisted they go to the hospital.
"Josie's undoubtedly my guardian angel,” said Denny. "She saved my life with her quick reaction when I experienced a stroke and inspired me to work through these setbacks. She's made me a better athlete and better person because of it.”
No stranger to comebacks, he understands that the road to Pyeongchang 2018 may be his most difficult.
This story keeps getting better.
During on-ice training in late September 2016, to the surprise of coaches and teammates, Denny skated to a personal best in the 3000m and found his way onto the World Cup podium in the Team Pursuit a couple months later.
He credited a simple yet hard-earned philosophy for the almost unbelieveable feats:
"There’s always obstacles and they always need to be overcome," said Denny after the race. "If we start setting excuses for ourselves, then we’ll never overcome anything."
When he skates to the start line in PyeongChang 2018, he'll have written one of the most remarkable comeback stories in Canada's sporting history.