Speed Skater Daniel Greig qualified for his second Winter Olympic Games after finishing in the top 36-skaters in both the men’s 500m and 1000m distances following the first four 2017/18 World Cups.
Greig only took up Speed Skating when he was 17 years-old, crossing over from Inline Skating which he had been competing in since he was six. As an Inline Skater, the South-Australian won two gold medals at the Junior World Championships but decided to focus on ice in his late-teens in order to pursue the Olympic dream.
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 22-year-old picked himself up, finished the race and then admirably returned to the ice for his second 500m, despite knowing he could not improve his placing. A couple of days later, Greig then put the demons of his 500m race behind him and clocked a great 1000m race, with a really fast 600m split time, ultimately placing 22nd.
One of only a handful of skaters in history to race a 34-second 500m before the age of 21, Greig underwent surgery on both knees after Sochi and was plagued with ongoing injury throughout his 2015/16 season. Greig landed his second World Cup podium in Kazakhstan during the 2016/17 season, which qualified him into the A Division for the fourth World Cup in Holland, where he placed 15th.
After a slow start to the 2017/18 season, the 26-year-old put down his best races in four years at the third World Cup in Calgary, placing 12th in the 500m Div-B and 19th in the 1000m Div-B. He saved his best performance for last at the fourth event in Salt Lake City, securing his first podium of the season with gold in the 1000m Division B event, and in a new Australian record of 1:08.26; which was 0.45 seconds faster than his own previous national record set prior to Sochi in January 2013.