Gilmore Junio heading to Sochi four years after breaking vertebrae

Calgary speedskater Gilmore Junio will be a medal-threat at the 500-metre distance in Sochi. (Al...

Calgary speedskater Gilmore Junio will be a medal-threat at the 500-metre distance in Sochi. (Al Charest/QMI Agency)

SCOTT MITCHELL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:12 AM ET

CALGARY - Four years ago, Gilmore Junio wasn’t focused on the Olympics.

He was focused on just skating again.

After a short-track speedskating crash left the then-19-year-old with two broken vertebrae in his back, Junio, as he was being stretchered off the ice, promised he’d be back.

But over the ensuing months, Junio did more than just return. He switched to long-track and turned himself into not only a medal threat, but one of the sport’s brightest up-and-coming stars.

Last fall, the Calgary product — and unlike many transplanted athletes who call the city home in an adopted sort of way, Junio was born and raised in Calgary — took home his first World Cup gold medal in the 500-metre event in Salt Lake City, Utah, becoming one of eight different gold-medal winners in eight races on the circuit this season.

In other words, the podium will be wide open in Sochi, Russia, next month.


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