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Speed Skater Greig added to Winter Olympic Team

21 December 2017

PEYONGCHANG2018: As we celebrate 50 days to PyeongChang 2018, Daniel Greig has been selected as the seventh member of the Australian Winter Olympic Team.

The 26-year-old will be Australia’s sole representative in Speed Skating at next year’s Games, set to line up in the men’s 500m and 1000m distances.

“It definitely makes me feel proud,” Greig said of today’s announcement.

“I love representing Australia in every sports competition that I enter and the Olympics is the pinnacle of that. I like to show people that anything is possible, even being an Olympic Speed Skater from Australia.”

With 36 places up for grabs in both distances the Sochi 2014 Olympian secured his second Games experience when he won 1000m gold in a new Australian record time in the B-Division at the fourth World Cup event in Salt Lake City earlier this month, bumping his world ranking up to 22.

Greig also finished the qualification season ranked 29th in the 500m, which is a major achievement for an athlete who has undergone two knee surgeries since his last Olympics and overcome a string of injuries throughout his career. 

“I suppose having just recently broken my own personal best and national record I can officially say that I have bounced back,” he said.

“I can't argue that I have had a lot to contend with in my career so far, some of the setbacks you can clearly learn something valuable and others you just take on as ‘character building’.

“The thing I would consider a valuable piece of learning is that you can have success without perfection. I enjoy pushing the limits to be better in every way, I ultimately enjoy both the process of training and the thrill of competition.”

Chef de Mission of the Australian Team, Ian Chesterman, said Greig’s selection is a testament to his commitment to the sport.

“It’s great to have Daniel on the Team for his second Games,” Chesterman said. “He is an athlete with enormous dedication and has overcome many obstacles to secure his places on the 2018 Team.

“We haven’t had a lot of Australian Speed Skaters at recent Games, so Dan’s back-to-back representation is fantastic.

“I wish him all the best for the remainder of his preparation and look forward to watching the Speed Skating, which is sure to be a highlight of the 2018 Games.”

The Netherlands-based athlete had a character building debut at the Sochi Games yet he showed what could be possible for his future.

Greig suffered every skater's worst nightmare when he fell in the opening seconds of his first 500m race - his pet event that he won a World Championship medal in just weeks before the Games. The then 22-year-old picked himself up, finished the race and admirably returned to the ice for his second 500m, despite knowing he could not improve his placing.

A couple of days later, Greig put the demons of his 500m race behind him and clocked a great 1000m race, ultimately placing 22nd.

Greig said his Sochi experience has made him a more resilient athlete and he is looking forward to a more successful Games in South Korea.

“Above all I am hoping I can go to these Olympics and, now that I have a fairly good idea at what to expect, I hope I can make it a more pleasant experience for myself and enjoy the racing a bit more.

“My goal is to skate two races that I can be proud of, no matter what the outcome is.”

With the Australian figure skating team selected in November and the Short Track athletes announced earlier this month, today’s selection means the entire Australian skating contingent has now been selected for PyeongChang 2018.

The sliding and snow athletes will be selected in January 2018.

olympics.com.au

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