At Sochi in 2014, Calgary's Denny Morrison won a silver in the 1,000 metres and a bronze in the 1,500, adding to three other medals he won in previous Olympic games.

In 2015, he broke his leg. In 2016, he was involved in a motorcycle crash and suffered a stroke.

In May 2017, he married Josie Spence, a speedskater who had never been to the Olympics.

On Wednesday, it was announced that  Denny and Josie are both headed to Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Olympics — him for the fourth time, her for the very first.

As Morrison said in an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener that every Olympics is different, but the fourth time has a chance to be the sweetest Olympics of them all.

"It always feels good to qualify for an Olympics because it means you're on your way to achieving your big goals," he said. 

This one's different again. Not only have I overcome some personal setbacks to get here, but I also got married … and my wife will be at the Olympics with me this time around."

Denny Morrison

Denny Morrison competes during the men's 1,500-metre race at the Olympic speedskating selections trials in Calgary on Jan. 6, 2018. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Overcoming obstacles

With injuries and age, Morrison faces new challenges in 2018, but he said there's something to be said for age and experience.

"There's parts of my races that I'm not as good at as I used to be," he said, "but because of age and experience, it's allowed me to really hone in on what I'm capable of improving.

"That's the long game and the endurance aspect of my races, and that's really given me a shot at being a part of this really strong Team Pursuit we have in men's speedskating."

And Morrison isn't bothered by Olympic-sized pressure. If anything, after all he's been through since Sochi in 2014, he's been hoping for a few more pressure moments.

"There's increased pressure because we're going to the Olympics, and like I said, I moved the goal posts, and Olympic medals are the focus now," he said.

"It's been part of a long-term plan," he said. "After the motorcycle crash, it had to be revised again, after the stroke — and here we are today. And we're on our way. I just feel great."


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener

Articled from the CBC RSS Syndication CBC.ca - RSS Feeds Copyright is that of their respective owners (CBC).


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