Michael Gilday enters NWT Sport Hall of Fame

Sochi Olympian Michael Gilday has become the first speed skater inducted into the Northwest Territories Sport Hall of Fame.

The 30-year-old won two world titles as part of Canada’s relay team and competed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia before retiring later that year.

At a ceremony on Saturday he became the fourth Olympian to enter the NWT’s Hall of Fame, following biathlete Robin Clegg and cross-country ski sisters Sharon Firth and Shirley Firth-Larsson.

“It’s an honour and it’s unexpected,” said Gilday. “There’s an endless list of people I want to thank, especially the sport community in the Territories and the community around Yellowknife Speed Skating Club.

“I have had the pleasure of skating with so many amazing people who have challenged me, and who are lifetime friends.”

Gilday took up short track speed skating in Yellowknife before training for the majority of his career at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.

He missed out on selection for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games by mere hundredths of a second, but returned four years later to successfully earn a place on Canada’s team for the 2014 Games.

In the interim, Gilday won relay world titles at the Sheffield World Championships of 2011 and again two years later in Debrecen, Hungary.

Among other career highlights are 15 gold ulus at the Arctic Winter Games and the setting of two world records, one of which still stands: the record set by Canada’s men’s relay team at the Olympic Oval in October 2012.

Having retired from the sport, Michael Gilday will still play a central role in Canadians’ enjoyment of short track speed skating at the forthcoming Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games, in February 2018, as a CBC Sports analyst.