Australia’s lone representative at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games in the discipline of long-track speed skating is 26-year-old Daniel Greig.
He competed in the Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014, taking part in the 500 m and 1000 m sprints, where he finished 39th and 22nd.
His best ever finish was third in 2014 in the Sprint Combination event of the World Sprint Championships in Nagano, Japan in 2014.
Like many speed skaters, he got his start with inline skating. He took that up at the age of six.
Realising that speed skating opportunities in Australia were somewhat limited, he move to the Netherlands when he finished his schooling.
His profile on Olympic.org reveals that like many athletes, he is superstitious. On the day of a race, he always puts his right skate on first and has to wear matching socks on race day.
That bit about the socks is a bit of a headscratcher to us, as our fear of inadvertently wearing non-matching socks has led us to buy dozens of pairs of identical socks, so that a mismatch is impossible.
We can only speculate whether or not Greig makes a habit of wearing non-matching socks on days when he is not racing. Perhaps he wears no socks at all, or goes barefoot.
Greig finds himself in the position of needing to explain his sport when he is back in Australia, as speed skating is neither footy, cricket nor horseracing.
“Most people don’t even know what speed skating is. When I tell them what I do they say, ‘Oh Steven Bradbury [Australian short track skater who won a gold medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City]’. I have to tell them there are only two skaters on the ice and speed skating doesn’t work like that.”
Greig has been hampered by an assortment of injuries since he took up speed skating in 2009, including one to his lower back in February of 2017 and he has been under the knife for both of his knees, to mention but a few.