Following the retirement of his idol Jeremy Wotherspoon, Denny Morrison has become Canada’s most successful active male long track speed skater. Morrison has a pair of Olympic medals on his resumé, both in the team pursuit. As a 20-year-old at Turin 2006 he was part of the silver winning squad. Four years later at Vancouver 2010 he was the team leader and along with Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux captured a surprising gold medal, the only medal by the Canadian men at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
The gold medal provided a measure of redemption for Morrison and an emotional high after a roller coaster couple of weeks. Morrison had hoped to reach the Olympic podium in his two strongest individual events, but finished 13th in the 1000m and ninth in the 1500m.
Since breaking onto the World Cup circuit fulltime in 2005-06, Morrison has been a consistently strong performer in the middle distances. He won his first medals at the World Single Distances Championships in 2007, taking silver in the 1000m and bronze in the 1500m. He then had a career-year in 2007-08, winning his first World title in the 1500m while finishing third in the 1000m. He later set a world record in the 1500m, which has since been broken. The 2009 World Single Distances Championships served as the test event for the Richmond Olympic Oval and Morrison was again on the podium in both the 1000m and 1500m, winning silver and bronze, respectively.
After a not-so-successful post-Olympic season, Morrison regained his place amongst the sport’s best when he won his second career world title, taking gold in the 1500m in 2012. Morrison got off to a strong start on the 2012-13 World Cup circuit, but had his season disrupted when he broke the fibula in his left leg while cross-country skiing just prior to Christmas. He returned to compete at the World Single Distances Championships in Sochi in March.
2010 Olympic Champion team pursuit… 2006 Olympic silver medallist team pursuit… Two-time World Champion 1500m (2008, 2012)… Two-time World silver medallist 1000m (2007, 2009)… Two-time World bronze medallist 1500m (2007, 2009)… 2008 World bronze medallist 1000m… Two-time World silver medallist team pursuit (2007, 2011)… Six-time Speed Skating Canada Long Track Male Athlete of the Year (2006-10, 2012)…
Getting Into the Sport: At age three his parents wanted to enroll him in hockey but there was no league for his age group so instead he joined a skating club… Grew up on the outdoor oval in Fort St. John… In high school had to decide whether to pursue volleyball or speed skating but the decision was made for him when he qualified for the speed skating world junior championships… Outside Interests: Collects beer mugs from his world travels… Enjoys fixing up his car or doing woodworking projects in his spare time… Loves speed even outside of his sport, including fast cars and motorcycles…
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
Olympic Winter Games: 2010 – 13th (1000m), 9th (1500m), 18th (5000m), GOLD (team pursuit); 2006 – 19th (1000m), 11th (1500m), SILVER (team pursuit)
ISU World Single Distances Championships: 2013 – 13th (1000m), 7th (team pursuit); 2012 – 4th (1000m), GOLD (1500m), 4th (team pursuit); 2011 – 5th (1000m), 6th (1500m), SILVER (team pursuit); 2009 – SILVER (1000m), BRONZE (1500m), 6th (team pursuit); 2008 – BRONZE (1000m), GOLD (1500m), 4th (team pursuit); 2007 – SILVER (1000m), BRONZE (1500m), SILVER (team pursuit)
ISU World Sprint Championships: 2012 – 10th (overall); 2011 – 7th (overall); 2008 – 7th (overall); 2007 – 7th (overall)
ISU World Allround Championships: 2009 – 5th (overall); 2008 – 6th (overall); 2007 – 10th (overall); 2006 – 5th (overall)