Canada’s Denny Morrison won the silver medal in Wednesday’s 1,000-meter speedskating final at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Morrison was only in the race because teammate Gilmore Junio voluntarily gave up his spot so Morrison could skate in his place.
By Connor Boylan – @connor_boylan
The reason for the swap comes from last month’s Canadian qualifying race for the 1,000-meter event during which Morrison fell, meaning he finished too late to make the squad but was slotted as Canada’s first alternate.
In a statement released before the race, Junio said he would give up his spot so that Morrison could participate and hopefully add to Canada’s medal count. Morrison did just that, finishing with a time of 1 minute, 8.43 seconds — just .04 seconds after Dutch gold medal winner Stefan Groothuis.
Morrison called Junio stepping down an “amazing gesture” before the race, and afterward nominated his teammate for a very special role in the games’ closing ceremony:
— Denny Morrison (@Denny_Morrison) February 12, 2014
That mutual respect, sacrifice and humility is what the Olympics are supposed to be all about.
Morrison described the moment the pair agreed on the switch – well, sort of – by posting the final scene from Mighty Ducks:
— Gilmore Junio (@cdnhappygilmore) February 12, 2014