The Canadian men made amends on Friday for their crash in the Team Pursuit in front of a home crowd in Calgary last week. Ted-Jan Bloemen, Denny Morrison and Benjamin Donnelly (CAN) won the Team Pursuit in Salt Lake City in a national record of 3 minutes and 36.44 seconds.
Morrison was also part of the Canadian team which set the previous record 10 years ago. After a motorcycle accident in 2015 and a stroke in 2016, Morrison feels blessed to be back at the top level.
“This is real testament not just for what I’ve been through, but also how these guys in training all summer held me along," he said. "Now I felt like I could give something back to the team. To help this team break the national record is an incredible feeling.”
Donnelly was the one who crashed last week. The 21-year-old said: “It’s great to have a sort of a redemption race for last week. It’s good to prove what we can do this way.”
Jordan Belchos was the one left out of the line-up in the Salt Lake City race, but both Morrison and Bloemen said the personnel change made little difference.
“I thought these other three would break the record,” Morrison said.
“In this team pressure is a privilege. After last week there was a lot of pressure on this team and I think we turned that pressure into something beautiful.”
“I don’t think the line-up really matters,” added Bloemen.
“We’ve been training a lot together in the summer and you can see how we skate together. We are always close to each other and today we brought it home.”
Italy and New Zealand took silver and bronze and both skated a national record too.