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Speed skater Denny Morrison apologizes to coach, teammates

Posted on February 22, 2010 at 2:15 AM

‘There should be no mistake: I put all the blame on my shoulders’: Morrison


February 21, 2010 Randy Starkman


RICHMOND, B.C.—Denny Morrison, who created a stir within the Canadian speed skating team with his comments following his disappointing showing at these Olympics, apologized Sunday to his coach and teammates.

Morrison, who was 13th in the men’s 1,000 metres last week, appeared to question the program he was on because his technique failed him in the stretch in a ninth-place finish Saturday in the men’s 1,500 metres.

He also complained about not being allowed to train with Shani Davis, his former training partner, because Canadian officials didn’t want the American to benefit from the extra resources leading into the 2010 Winter Olympics.

As well, Morrison gave the impression Saturday night he would have a hard time getting motivated for his last event, the men’s team pursuit.

“I’d like to apologize to my coach, to my team if they read that and got discouraged or they felt like I had wronged them,” he said in an interview. “I apologize if it came across that way. That’s not what I intended.”

Morrison said he had already been in touch with coach Marcel Lacroix, who had defended his program by saying it had been good enough to get Morrison world championship medals and a world record in the past.

“I phoned Marcel as soon as I heard there was negative stuff printed about me talking about him that way,” he said. “I just said ‘Look, that’s not how I wanted it come across.’ I’m not trying to point fingers.

“There should be no mistake: I put all the blame on my shoulders. What I was doing was looking for answers. The answer was I wasn’t skating well technically. I didn’t skate the race I should have at the end. I just finished my race. I was emotional. ... I guess it came across like I was pointing fingers. But the fact is I didn’t get it done.”

Morrison said he’s looking forward to the team pursuit, which starts Friday.

“That’s not even an issue,” he said. “The team pursuit’s going to be good. We’ve done a lot more training together than most of the teams. We have a really good strategy that’s going to help us. We know what this ice can give.”

He said he was sorry if he gave the impression he didn’t care about the event.

“It’s like running a marathon and you finish a marathon and someone says ‘Hey, are you looking forward to doing that marathon in a week,’ and you’re out of breath and your legs are burning and all you want to do is warm down and eat some food,” he said. “You’re not thinking about the marathon in a week. For me, it’s another shot at an Olympic medal. We’ve got a really good shot.”

Morrison said it bothered him that some media outlets portrayed him as being critical of Own The Podium, the program created to try to help Canada become the No. 1 nation.

“I don’t feel like I was blaming OTP,” he said. “They’ve been great. Why would I complain about OTP? They’ve done so much for Canadian sport and all the Canadian athletes.”


Categories: In the Spotlight, 2010 Vancouver Olympics

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