|Posted on February 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM|
Andrew Vacheresse/Jackie Crawford Feb 27, 2010 22:02:00 PM
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - Many are celebrating in Fort St. John in honour of Denny Morrison's gold medal win, Saturday. Morrison has been named Fort St. John Skater of the Year for seven consecutive years, which is an acknowledgment for the way the skater has put his community on the map.
Mayor Bruce Lantz says Morrison is an inspiration to all of the kids growing up in remote towns. "It shows that someone can come from a small northern community and they can acheive success on the world's stage. I think that gives everybody an opportunity that lives in communities like Fort St. John. The understanding is they have a goal and they work hard. They have the opportunity of acheiving what Denny has achieved."
Morrison grew up in the northern B.C. town before moving away to train internationally in 2003 - and nobody knows the hard work has paid off more than the woman who first coached the athlete.
Karen MacLaren coached Morrison when he was just three-years-old, and explains she couldn't be more proud of his success. "I'm just absoloutley ecstatic about it. Of course, everybody came up to me at the rink and said 'did you hear they won the gold? They won the gold!' So, it's just absoloutley thrilling. I'm so proud. I really am, beyond words."
MacLaren coached Morrison and his older brother Jay for two years in Chetwynd back in 1986. Since then, she has watched him excel over the years, winning medals for speed skating at world championships and a silver at the Games in Turin.