Duncan targets second chance

RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

Dave Duncan's Vancouver experience didn't turn out the way it did for his fellow London and area Olympians.

The other six -- Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Christine Nesbitt, Drew Doughty, Corey Perry and Joe Thornton -- all captured gold medals as part of Canada's record Winter Games haul.

Duncan, the standout in the stunning new sport of ski cross, didn't make the starting line. The 27-year-old Londoner suffered a broken clavicle in his pre-Games training run.

So in two weeks that were so inspirational and unifying, his Olympic memories were reduced to the opening ceremony march, post-injury surgery at Vancouver General Hospital and the ensuing pain.

For him, there is no golden story to tell at the John Labatt Centre Monday night when London holds its Olympic celebration party.

But there is something else -- a renewed hunger, a sense of resolve, a fiery passion to create a second chance.

"I've talked to a lot of people and they tell me they're sorry for what happened, that it was bad luck," he said. "I'm over it now. It happens. I'm using it as motivation. I'm not going to go out that way. I'm committed to another four years at least."

He won't be alone in forging on after this JLC bash.

Most, if not all, of London's winter crew should have another shot at Olympic gold in 2014 at Sochi, Russia.

Virtue and Moir, the youngest ice dance champs in Olympic history, are already back training and looking ahead to next season. No one's in position to knock Nesbitt off her 1,000-metre speed skating throne anytime soon.

The hockey players? Over to you, Gary Bettman.

For Duncan, though, there is no choice. He has been surrounded by gold -- the six from this region and the big win by ski cross teammate Ashleigh McIvor.

"After Chris (Del Bosco) crashed in the men's, it was such a lift to see Ashleigh come through in the women's race," he said. "It just elevated everything. People got to see what a great sport it is and see some of the personalities. In ski cross, it seems like everyone has an interesting story of how they got here."

Duncan, the former downhiller and last to qualify for the Canadian freestyle team, is among those unique tales. And now, he will do everything in his power to get to the Olympics again.

"Really, in the past month or so, I've felt good," he said. "There'll be times I'll roll over in bed and feel it, but it's just a collarbone. It's not going to hinder what I want to do. I was back on the hill by the end of the ski season."

The Golden, B.C., resident has been working out in Calgary, focusing on his dryland training: weightlifting, biking, cardio. He had been back earlier this year to attend the London Ski Club's banquet and speak to Byron Southwood elementary school.

"This event (at the JLC) is the biggest thing I've ever been a part of where I'm kind of part of the centre stage," he said. "I think this is a great thing for London. I'm excited about it and I hope it will bring some attention and money to the junior ranks of our sports."

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