There’s now a campaign to make 23-year-old speed skater Gilmore Junio Canada’s flag bearer at the Olympic closing ceremony after his selfless act before the men’s 1000m.
Junio is a specialist in the shorter 500m, and wasn’t a medal contender going into the 1000m.
He only qualified for the event because Canada’s best skater in the 1000m, Denny Morrison, took a freak fall at the Olympic Trials and didn’t earn a spot as a result.
Morrison is one of the best 1000m skaters in the world.
So two days before the race in Sochi, Junio decided to give his spot to the Canadian with the better chance of winning a medal.
According to Maclean’s, he texted Morrison, “Are you ready for the 1000m, yay or nay?”
“To represent Canada at the Olympics is a huge honour and privilege,” Junio said in a statement, “but I believe that as Canadians, we’re not just here to compete; we are here to win.”
Morrison made the most of his opportunity, winning the silver in the race of his life. Junio was there to watch. From Maclean’s:
“Junio was in the stands, too, nervous as hell before the event, watching with his parents the race they had flown to Russia to see him skate. ‘I was hoping the best for one of the best teammates and one of my best friends in the past four years,’ Junio said. ‘And he made good on it.'”
There’s now a campaign on social media to let Junio have the spotlight as the closing ceremony by making him flag bearer.
Even Morrison is promoting the #gilforflagbearer hashtag:
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