Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Canadian skeleton racer Greszczyszyn, a teacher, mourns Florida shooting

Dave Greszczyszyn of Canada takes a curve during a practice run during the men's skeleton training at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.

Andy Wong/AP

Dave Greszczyszyn is not an American. He's not from Florida. He doesn't know any of the 17 people killed when a gunman opened fire at a high school not far from Miami.

But he is a schoolteacher, and that's one of the reasons why news of the latest U.S. school shooting nearly moved him to tears.

The first thing Greszczyszyn found out about Thursday morning when he awoke hours before racing for Canada in the men's skeleton race at the Pyeongchang Olympics was the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Even while half a world away, it left him wondering again why these things happen.

Story continues below advertisement

"When I woke up I looked at my phone and saw that," Greszczyszyn said after his race Thursday. "Pretty upsetting. Yeah, something's got to be done. Up in Canada, we still have some of those every once in a while, but we're pretty lucky. We don't have, I guess, the same numbers. But any time there's something like that in a school, it's obviously not good."

The shooting in Parkland, Fla., was at least the seventh school shooting in the United States so far in 2018 alone.

Greszczyszyn has taught all over the world – science, physical education and English. He got his degree in Australia, taught in South Korea in 2005, quit his teaching job in Canada to pursue his sliding career and still works as a substitute teacher when his schedule allows. At 38, he's closer to the end of his sliding career than the beginning, and a return to teaching is possible. Before he quit teaching to train full time, he taught at Mayfield Secondary School in Caledon, Ont.

At least one of those killed in the Florida shooting was a teacher, officials said.

"I don't know what we can do," Greszczyszyn said, his eyes red. "I don't know. Laws only do so much."

Greszczyszyn was 21st after the first two runs of the competition, which ends on Friday.

Report an error
We have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We expect to have our new commenting system, powered by Talk from the Coral Project, running on our site by the end of April, 2018. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to