Wednesday marked a significant step in Denny Morrison’s journey to returning to competitive long track speed skating. Still recovering and rehabbing from various injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in May, Speed Skating Canada named Morrison to their roster of long track speed skaters for the 2015-2016 season.
Morrison remains well ahead in his recovery process but despite that he admits he is slightly behind in the personal goals that he has been setting for himself.
“I was hoping to be back on the ice full time two weeks ago. Not to say that my recovery is slow, I’m still way ahead of schedule of where people thought I would be but just so much strength was lost in those days and weeks in the hospital and after the crash and the surgery,” he said.
In terms of where he’s at in his recovery, he’s about 90 per cent healed from the accident, however the final 10 per cent he acknowledged is the most difficult part.
“It’s still in the grey area. If I progress quickly again I may be able to skate fall World Cups. I don’t want to discount myself from that entirely yet. The fall World Cups include one World Cup in Calgary. It includes a World Cup near by in Salt Lake City. It would be nice to compete at home. Obviously I love competing at home in front of the home crowd and family and friends.”
While competing in Calgary appears to be the main goal in the short term, Morrison remains very confident he’ll be able to compete at the next winter Olympics in three years in South Korea.
“I’ve been motivated by the opportunity to compete at home this November and that’s really helped me push through pain and get myself to the point I’m at today. Regardless of if I’m able to achieve those lofty recovery goals or not, I’m certain I can regain my position on the Canadian team in time for 2018.”
As it stands Morrison is pre-qualified for the fall World Cup events based off of his results last season. If he is unable to participate in the fall season, it would force him to re-qualify for the winter portion of the schedule.
Morrison will be back in Fort St. John for a visit in early September where he said he hopes to reconnect with local coaches on the ice.