Denny Morrison makes 2014-15 debut at Fall Classic long track competition

Speed Skating Canada has 21 skaters entered at Olympic Oval event

Denny Morrison, who won a pair of medals for Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics, skates in his first competition of the 2014-15 season this weekend at the Fall Classic speed skating competion at the Olympic Oval, along with 20 other members of Speed Skating Canada’s national and development teams.

The Fort St. John, B.C., skater is entered in the 500m and 1,000m on Saturday and the 500m on Sunday. The 29-year-old won the silver medal in the 1,000m and a bronze in the 1,500m in Sochi last February.

Morrison last competed March 15, 2014 at the World Cup Finale in Heerenveen, Netherlands, where he won gold in the last international 1,000m of the season.

"I always love racing so it's exciting to be back on the ice, but also nerve wracking to step back out there knowing I'm not at the same peak performance as I was at the Olympics at the end of last season," he said.

"Unsatisfactory results are always a source of motivation for me however, so regardless of the outcome, I know these races will ultimately help me to prepare for the World Cups down the road".

The Fall Classic will attract an international field. It begins Friday and runs through Sunday, starting at 9 a.m. Mountain Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Canadian women entered include: Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, Kali Christ of Regina, Sask., Nicole Garrido of Edmonton, Kate Hanly of Calgary, Marsha Hudey of White City, Sask., Alexandra Ianculescu of Toronto, Lauren McGuire of Ottawa and sisters Josie and Tori Spence of Kamloops, B.C.

Other Canadian men expected to skate include: Jordan Belchos of Markham, Ont., Ted-Jan Bloeman of Calgary, Vincent de Haitre of Cumberland, Ont., William Dutton of Humboldt, Sask., Jamie Gregg of Edmonton, Gilmore Junio of Calgary, Alec Janssens of Chilliwack, B.C., Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., Stefan Waples of Winnipeg and Tyler Williamson-Derraugh of Winnipeg.

Skaters are now in their final month of preparations for the Fall Long Track World Cup Selections, which will take place at the Olympic Oval from Oct. 23-26.