Gilmore Junio became internationally known for his remarkable display of sportsmanship at Sochi 2014 when he relinquished his spot in the 1000m to teammate Denny Morrison, who had missed qualifying for the Olympic team in that particular event after a fall at the Canadian trials. Morrison went on to win silver, a medal the two friends celebrated together. Earlier in the Games Junio had finished 10th in his specialty, the 500m, ranking him as the top Canadian in the event.
Junio had shown much promise as a short track skater. But disaster struck in his last year as a junior. Two weeks before the Canadian Junior Championships he was taken out during a race and fell into the boards head first. The result was compression fractures to his T5 and T8 vertebrae. Two days after he got home he decided to switch to long track where there was less risk of falling and re-injuring himself. Just two months later he took part in his first international competition and then competed at the 2010 World Junior Championships where he finished fourth in the 500m.
In the summer of 2010 Junio was named to the national long track development team and competed at four World Cup stops. The 2011-12 season saw more progress as he consistently competed in the A group at World Cups against the world’s best skaters. He had his big breakthrough in 2012-13 when he won his first World Cup medal, a silver in the 500m at Nagano in December. He ended the season ranked in the top-10 of the World Cup 500m standings and competed at his first World Single Distances Championships where he finished 19th in the 500m. Junio earned his first World Cup victory on November 15, 2013 when he tied for first in a 500m in Salt Lake City.
World Cup Gold Medallist (November 2013, Salt Lake City, 500m)… World Cup Silver Medallist (December 2012, Nagano, 500m)…
Getting Into the Sport: Started playing hockey when he was seven… As he got older he realized he was too small to make a career of it but he was a strong skater… In the summer of 2003 his father suggested he try speed skating because there was a talent ID camp at the Olympic Oval in Calgary… He soon got a letter telling him he had potential and should consider pursuing the sport… Outside Interests: Studying kinesiology at the University of Calgary… Enjoys playing guitar and hockey on the floor, ice and street… Odds and Ends: Sporting idol is former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla… Nicknames: Gil, Chipotle… Has never been more proud to be Canadian than the 24 hours during Vancouver 2010 when Canada won team pursuit and men’s hockey gold… Likes to have a steak dinner before a competition… Favourite motto: Find what you can do for hours without knowing it, because it’s probably what makes you happy and what you should do.
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
ISU World Single Distances Championships: 2013 – 19th (500m)
ISU World Sprint Championships: 2013 – 14th (overall)