The 29-year-old from Levis, Que. got off to a fast start in his final skate, but came up 0.40 seconds shy of the gold medal, which was won by Thomas Krol of the Netherlands with a time of 1:07.92 seconds.
Dubreuil skated 1:08.32 for silver, and Haavard Holmefjord Lorentzen of Norway won bronze with a time of 1:08.48.
The victory was redemption of sorts for the two-time Olympian, who narrowly missed out on a medal in the 500-metre event earlier in the Games when he finished three-hundredths of a second behind the third-place finisher. Dubreuil is the reigning world champion in the 500-metres event.
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“It’s crazy to win a medal in the 1,000 and not in the 500. That’s not what I would have bet on,” he said.
“As much as it was disappointing and a letdown six days ago, this is incredible and a huge surprise for me. I knew I could do it. My mindset was just go out there, skate light, free and create a surprise. I didn’t quite win, but it feels like a win for me.”
Dubreuil’s strong skate had gold-medallist Krol waiting tensely on the sidelines as he watched the Canadian race in the final pairing of the event.
“When (Dubreuil) didn’t make my time I was just overwhelmed with emotions,” he said, adding that he called his girlfriend after winning the top prize to share the moment with her.
Teammates Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu and Connor Howe also competed for Canada, but did not contend for a podium spot.
Canada has now won 24 medals at the Beijing Games so far.
— with files from The Canadian Press and Reuters.