Canadian Olympic medallist Denny Morrison retires from speed skating

CBC

Denny Morrison has decided to retire following a decorated 16-year career as a member of the Canadian long track speed skating team.

The 34-year-old from Fort St. John, B.C., hangs up his skates with four Olympic medals and a remarkable comeback story after an accident in 2015.

Morrison, who shares the Canadian men's record for Olympic medals in his discipline with Gaetan Boucher, captured silver in team pursuit at the Turin Games in 2006 and followed up with gold in the same event in Vancouver in 2010.

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His Olympic medal haul continued in 2014 with a bronze medal in the 1,500 metre and a memorable silver-medal performance in the 1,000 after Gilmore Junio decided it was in the best interest of the team to give up his spot to Morrison, who had failed to qualify for the race in Olympic trials. 

Morrison was then sidelined by a serious motorcylce crash in 2015 in which he suffered multiple injuries including a torn ACL, punctured lung, ruptured kidneys and liver, and a small fracture in his spine. Remarkably he returned to competition in March of the following year before suffering a stroke due to complications from the crash.

WATCH | Denny Morrison returns to Olympics after battling serious injuries:

But in December of 2016, Morrison returned to produce another highlight by earning silver in team pursuit at a World Cup event.

Morrison then went on to qualify as part of the team pursuit in Pyeongchang in 2018.

Morrison debuted on the World Cup circuit in 2003 and reached the podium 68 times (21 gold, 29 silver, 18 bronze) and also collected 11 world single distance championship medals.

"My family supported me every step of the way, up to and through four Olympic Games, and everything in-between," Morrison said.

"Growing up in Fort St. John, with the supportive crew around me that I had, gave me all of the tools I needed to become the relentless and resilient athlete that I'm recognized as today. Thank you to everyone in Canada who has ever supported me or even heard of me over the duration of my career. It's been an absolute privilege."

Morrison will be honoured at the Olympic Oval in Calgary on Saturday as part of the World Cup event this weekend.

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