Speed Skating — Three-Time Olympian
Beijing 2022 Olympian
PyeongChang 2018 Olympian
Sochi 2014 Olympian
2016 World Cup Bronze Medalist (Heerenveen)
2015 World Cup Gold Medalist (Inzell)
2013 World Cup Gold Medalist (Salt Lake City)
2012 World Cup Silver Medalist (Nagano)
Social Followers: Twitter, 6,376; Instagram, 3,184
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
For many Canadians who watched the Sochi Olympics, one story resonated with us.
It wasn’t the eventual triumph of the men’s hockey team; the double-podium performances in moguls, ski cross or ski slopestyle; or even the incredible now-part-of-hockey-history comeback by the women’s team over the USA.
It was a story of sportsmanship that meant the most to Canada.
Gilmore Junio, a self-effacing young speed skater at his first Olympics, did something that touched the core of our values as citizens and not just sports fans.
He gave his spot in the 1000m to teammate Denny Morrison, who had missed qualifying in the discipline after a fall at the Canadian Trials.
When Morrison went on to win silver, the best friends celebrated a truly beautiful moment together.
Gilmore left Sochi with a 10th place finish in the 500m and the satisfaction of knowing that his selflessness had led to greater success for the Canadian Olympic Team.
Gilmore's story became part of Canada's Olympic lore and he came home to Calgary to a heartfelt welcome at the airport.
To commemorate his selfless act, a Toronto-based design firm led a Thanks Gilmore crowd-sourced fundraising campaign to create a uniquely-Canadian medal crafted with gold, silver and a Western Maple burl with a silver leaf at the centre.
A national speaking tour followed and his TED Talk, The Generosity Dilemma, powerfully explored the idea that collective generosity and personal ambition can not only co-exist but can balance each other in shaping the kind of character that so many Canadians aspire to.
Now, with his third Olympics behind him, Gilmore has proved that nice guys can finish first.
What he takes with him into his life after sport is the knowledge that his decision has left an enduring legacy as strong and sincere as the words engraved on the inset of his medal from Canadians from across the country: