Olympic speedskater Denny Morrison injured in motorcycle crash
Published Friday, May 8, 2015 11:46AM MDT Last Updated Friday, May 8, 2015 7:47PM MDT
Four-time Olympic speedskating medallist Denny Morrison is recovering at Foothills Hospital in Calgary after he fractured his femur in a motorcycle crash on Thursday night.
According to Speedskating Canada, the Fort St. John, B.C. native suffered a clean fracture through the middle of his femur and required surgery for the placement of a metal rod to stabilize the bone.
Morrison was on a motorcycle that smashed into a vehicle on Charleswood Drive near Crowchild Trail at about 7:00 p.m.
The force of the crash was enough to push the vehicle over and throw Morrison from the bike.
He was initially reported to be in grave condition but was upgraded when he reached hospital.
Speed Skating Canada's high performance director Brian Rahill says the team physician checked in on Morrison on Friday afternoon. He says based on what they know so far, they are not anticipating any complications from the surgery.
"Perhaps he will be, with assistive devices, weigh bearing within four to six weeks and possibly full weigh bearing within eight to twelve weeks, depending how well the recovery goes," he said.
Rahill says training gets underway in June and the injury will certainly set Morrison back but it is not yet known for how long.
"Denny is in a unique situation. First of all, he's one of the most fit athletes in the world and he's always been so committed to his training regimen and trains 100 percent all of the time. He's probably in the best condition to be able to recover from what he just suffered so from that perspective, he's in a better position than a normal person would be, whose not a high-performance athlete, so if there's someone who can come back from this, based on not only his physical characteristics but also his mental fortitude as well as his commitment to training, we can only hope for the best," said Rahill.
Rahill says police have not contacted the team regarding charges.
"Of course we're concerned, we're happy there was no real life threatening situation from what we've been told and that obviously the individuals in the other vehicle involved were able to walk away so from that perspective we are reassured in some ways."
Rahill says Morrison did a four hour cycle from about 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. and so he thinks he was probably on his way home when the crash happened.
"The most comforting thing is that at no point was his life in danger, which is the most comforting thing for us and now we're just going to do everything we can, from a medical team, a multi-disciplinary team, with his rehabilitation."
Morrison has won four Olympic medals in long-track speedskating, including one gold in 2010 and one silver in 2006, in the team pursuit event.
He won silver in the 1,000 metres and bronze in the 1,500 at the 2014 Sochi Games and finished first in the overall World Cup rankings in those two events this season.
(With files from The Canadian Press)