Morrison hails team mate's Olympic gesture

Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:15pm EST
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By Patrick Johnston

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Canadian Gilmore Junio knew the best chance of ending Dutch domination of the men's speed skating medals in Sochi was to sit out the 1,000 meters and send in team mate Denny Morrison instead. He made the right call.

Morrison became the first non Dutchman to win a speed skating medal in Sochi when he bagged silver at the Adler Arena on Wednesday.

Morrison had tripped in the Canadian trials and missed out on a spot in the 1,000m.

He was afforded a re-skate but with just 40 minutes break in between, the energy required was lacking and he failed to meet the qualifying mark and had to settle for being first reserve.

It was a moment he described as the most disappointing of his career.

Morrison was resting in the athletes village late on Monday ahead of his 1,500m race at the weekend when a message came through from an unknown number asking if he was up for the additional duties.

"It said, 'Hey man, are you ready to race the 1,000?' I just saw the Russian number and thought maybe someone had stolen his phone," Morrison told reporters of Junio's offer.

"It was a little bit difficult to just go back saying, 'Yeah man, I'm in.'"   Continued...

Canada's Gilmore Junio skates during the men's 500 metres speed skating race at the Adler Arena during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 10, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble