CALGARY - Gone are most of the athletes who dominated long-track speedskating for most of the 2000s.
Some of the skaters who took the stage Wednesday as members of Canada’s team of long-track specialists for the Sochi Olympics are familiar faces. Guys like Denny Morrison and Lucas Makowsky, both of whom took home gold four years ago in Vancouver in the men’s team pursuit.
But there’s also a contingent of new names set to represent Canada in Sochi — athletes who Morrison believes are helping push the program forward after the departure of stars like Jeremy Wotherspoon and Kristina Groves.
“It’s my third Olympics, and things can become a little monotonous sometimes. So you see the young guys around, and they’re really excited to be there and be part of this team,” Morrison said. “They’ve got this energy, and I feel like I’ve fed off that a little bit.”
Among the skaters who’ll be making their Olympic debut are Calgary’s Kaylin Irvine and Airdrie’s Brianne Tutt.