In the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, Canadian Filipino long track speed skater Gilmore Junio showed the world the true meaning of sportsmanship.
After qualifying for the 1,000-metre race, the Alberta-born and –raised athlete gave his spot to his teammate Denny Morrison, who he believed had a greater chance of winning a medal. Morrison won silver.
Junio, 27, is getting another shot at Olympic glory, this time at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games in South Korea.
The long track speed skater is competing in the 500-metre race, his strongest category, on February 19.
According to his official profile with the Canadian Olympic team, Junio started playing hockey when he was seven years old. In 2003, his father suggested that he try speed skating.
Junio is one who doesn’t allow setbacks to stop him in his tracks.
As a junior short track speed skater, he suffered back fractures during a crash in 2009. As he was recovering, he decided to switch to the long track.
Junio’s parents Gino and Julie came from the Philippines. They met in Winnipeg during the 1970s. Later in the 1980s, the two settled in Calgary, where they raised a family. Junio has two siblings.
Junio is taking up kinesiology at the University of Calgary, with plans of becoming a physiotherapist.
He won his first World Cup medal in the 500-metre race in 2012 in Nagano, Japan, where he took silver. He earned his first gold at the 2013 World Cup in Salt Lake City, Utah.
According to his official profile, Junio won seven World Cup medals in the 500-metre race during the 2016-2017 season. His haul included two gold medals.
In the 2014 Sochi games, Junio placed 10th in the 500-metre category.
The PyeongChang Olympics’ website notes that Junio’s philosophy in life goes, “Always learn. Always grow. Give what you have.”
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