Yellowknife speedskater Michael Gilday heading to Sochi

It’s official: Yellowknife speedskater Michael Gilday will go to the Olympics in Sochi this winter.
Canada's Michael Gilday, left, and China's Yongjun Yu, right, speed on track during the men's 1500 meters quarterfinal at the Short Track World Cup, in Turin, Italy, Saturday. Nov. 9, 2013. The final World Cup event was held in Russia over the weekend. ((AP Photo/Fabio Ferrari, LaPresse))

It’s now official — Yellowknifer Michael Gilday will go to the Olympics in Sochi this winter.

Gilday was named to the Canadian speedskating team in August, but it's two World Cup competitions — one in Italy, and the other in Russia — that decide how many athletes each country can send.

The final races were held in Russia over the weekend, and Canada's skaters placed well enough to send a full team. That's despite two falls in key races.

David Gilday is Michael's dad. He says this weekend's races were real nail-biters.

“In the semi-final, one of the skaters fell, which put Canada three-quarters of a lap behind,” Gilday said. “Teams seldom ever come back from that, and they finished just barely behind the second place finisher. It was just an amazing comeback. And in the B finals, they were half a lap behind and came back to win. So it all says to me that when they bear down, they can accomplish physical miracles.”

The Olympics are in Sochi, Russia from February 7 to 23.

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