|Posted on December 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM|
By Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun December 23, 2012
Denny Morrison of Canada competes in the Division A Men's 1000m race during day two of the Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating at Harbin Ice Training Base on December 16, 2012 in Harbin, China.Photograph by: Hong Wu, Getty Images
He’s a blur on skates on an oval, but not so adept, it seems, at negotiating a little downhill trail on cross-country skis.
Denny Morrison, a two-time Olympic medalist in long track speedskating’s team pursuit, broke the fibula in his left leg on Saturday while skiing with friends and family in Fernie.
“I kind of lost control and went flying off the trail,” the Fort St. John product and reigning 1,500-metre world champion said Sunday while travelling back home to Calgary. “I don’t know what happened exactly . . . it might have been the way I hit the downed tree. I landed horizontally and my right foot with the ski on it fell over my other leg and put pressure on my other leg.
“I thought I would be safe,” he added of his Christmas break pursuit. “I’ve done (cross country skiing) a bit, but I guess I’m not as skilled at it as snowboarding or downhill skiing.”
Doctors decided not to put a cast on the leg – “they gave me crutches for $25 and two rolls of tensor tape” – and he is expec ted to be out of action for four to six weeks.
That means he’ll miss the Canadian championships at the Calgary Olympic Oval the first weekend in January, a World Cup at the same venue Jan. 19-20 and, quite likely, the ISU sprint world championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 26-27.
Morrison, 27, has struggled on the World Cup circuit this season at 1,500 metres, his best distance, finishing 13th, 19th and sixth in the first three races. But he won the opening 1,000-metre race of the season at Heerenveen, Netherlands, and, with a second in Nagano, Japan, two fifths and a sixth, leads the World Cup standings at that distance.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever finished the fall season ranked No. 1 in the 1,000, so I’m pretty happy about that. And as I’ve said many times, I tend to get stronger and stronger throughout the season.”
Morrison, who won his gold medal in team pursuit at the Richmond Olympic Oval in the 2010 Olympics, said he hopes to be fully recovered in time for the ISU world single distance championships March 21-24 in the new Olympic venue at Sochi.
“Absolutely. I should recover stronger. With the calcium deposits around the break, it’ll give the leg extra strength and only make me a faster speedskater.”
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Categories: Season 2012-2013