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Fourth-Place Medal

Denny Morrison wins a silver medal after teammate Gilmore Junio gives up his spot

Kevin Kaduk
Fourth-Place Medal
Speed Skating - Winter Olympics Day 5
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Denny Morrison celebrates his silver medal on Wednesday. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

So what do you get a man who gave up his spot in the Olympics so you could win a silver medal? 

Canada's Denny Morrison has a pretty good idea after teammate Gilmore Junio gave up his spot in Wednesday's 1,000m speedskating final so Morrison could compete instead. 

In one of the better stories to come out of these Sochi Games, Morrison capitalized on what he called Junio's "amazing gesture," taking second with a time of 1 minute, 8.43 seconds, just four-hundredths of a second behind gold-medal winner Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands. 

Morrison now believes Junio should get a special honor at the end of these Games. 

[Related: Shani Davis fails to medal in the 1,000m]

We'll see if Gilmore gets or sticks around for that honor, but Team Canada already got the result that Gilmore envisioned when the swap was made. Morrison fell during the country's qualifying race last month and missed out a top-four spot, setting him up as the first alternate. But at No. 6 in the 1,000m world rankings, his  chances of a medal in Sochi were far greater than Junio's (who ranked 41st in the distance).  

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Gilmore Junio (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Team leader Sean Ireland said Junio's decision was made on his own. 

Junio, who finished 11th in Monday's 500m, said it was easy to put his team and country first. Teammates like Morrison had helped him make the conversion from short-track to long-track and now he felt he was repaying the favor.

"I believe it’s in the best interest of the team if he races," Junio said in a statement released before the race. "To represent Canada at the Olympics is a huge honor and privilege but I believe that as Canadians, we’re not just here to compete; we are here to win. Denny has proven to be a consistent medal threat in the distance."

[Related: Mulder twins lead another Dutch speedskating sweep]

Said Morrison: "Gil is a great teammate. He told me that he wanted me to race. This is an amazing gesture and I’m ready to make the most of this opportunity. It is clear Gilmore Junio has already learned Olympic heroes are created off the ice as well as on it."

At just 23 years of age, Junio will have a good shot at making the next Winter Games in 2018 and securing a medal for himself. Until then, he'll have to live off the amazing karma gained by securing a medal for a teammate and putting the "team" in "Team Canada." 

Well done. 

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Kevin Kaduk is a writer for Yahoo Sports.. Have a tip? Email him at kevinkaduk@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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