Denny Morrison featured in Olympic exhibit at BC Sports Hall of Fame

Visitors to the BC Sports Hall of Fame have a chance to step on the same stardom as Fort St. John speed skater Denny Morrison in the lead up to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Morrison is celebrated as B.C.'s most decorated Winter Olympian as part of the Vancouver 2010 gallery at the hall of fame, which is looking to draw attention to iconic moments in the province's sport history.

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Morrison's exhibit chronicles the rise of the four-time medallist since he first skated onto the Olympic scene in Turin in 2006, and includes the podium he stood on in 2010 after winning his first Olympic gold, in the 3000-metre relay, as well as his track suit and skates.

"He's still writing his athletic story," said curator Jason Beck.

"He's comeback from a horrific injury and a horrific medical illness to make it to the Olympics for a fourth time, which is incredible. Even just making it for the fourth time is a great story, but I see this as an international story given what he's overcome."

The gallery first opened in 2012, with Morrison's exhibit on permanent display. Morrison was later inducted to the hall of fame in 2015, one of few active athletes to achieve the honour, Beck said.

Morrison won his first Olympic medal in Turin, Italy, in 2006, winning silver as part of Canada's team pursuit squad. Morrison earned gold on home turf in Vancouver in 2010 with his 3000-metre relay teammates; in 2014, he won a silver in the 1000m and bronze in the 1500m in Sochi, Russia.

Fans will remember Morrison's silver in Sochi came after teammate Gilmore Junio gave his spot to Morrison, who had failed to qualify after he tripped and fell during time trials. 

Morrison has a chance to add to his Olympic medal tally in PyeongChang, South Korea, this month, where he will compete in the men's 1500 metre and team pursuit events for Canada.

It bookends a remarkable comeback following the 2014 Olympics after a serious motorcycle accident in 2015 and stroke in 2016. Morrison will mark that comeback with his wife Josie at his side, who was also named to Team Canada's speed skating team.

Though there are about 400 athletes inducted in the hall of fame, Morrison's story is one about the ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity, Beck said.

"They've all overcome something, whether it was an injury, an illness, a death, or some sort of other obstacle. But his kind of stands alone," Beck said.

The Olympics kick off Feb. 9, with long track speed skating events running from Feb. 10 to 14.

editor@ahnfsj.ca

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