Catriona Le May Doan
The 1998 games at Nagano were a turning point for Doan: she won the gold medal in the 500 m and the bronze in the 1000 m. She also won the World Sprint Championship in 1998.
Catriona Le May Doan, speed skater (b at Saskatoon, Sask 23 Dec 1970). She began as a ringette player but, after seeing a poster advertising speed skating, she and her sister attempted the sport. Doan began her first year of competition at age 10, and quickly rose to the top of the ranks among her peers. She eventually entered international competition in 1991 with a 20th placing in the World Sprint Championships. By 1995 she dominated the world scene. However, she managed only as high as 14th-place finish in her 5 Olympic events from the 1992 Albertville Games (500 and 1000 m) and 1994 Lillehammer Games (500, 1000, 1500 m), where she suffered a fall during competition.
The 1998 games at Nagano were a turning point for Doan: she won the gold medal in the 500 m and the bronze in the 1000 m. She also won the World Sprint Championship in 1998. Later, at both the 1999 and 2001 World Single Distance Championships, Doan won gold in the 500 m and took bronze in the 1000 m. She also dominated in the 500 m during the 2000-2001 World Cup season, winning 9 of 10 races on the circuit. At the end of the 2000-2001 season she set a 500 m world record in Salt Lake City at the 2001 World Single Distance Championships. She was given the honour of being the flag bearer for Canada during the closing ceremonies at Nagano in 1998 and was again selected in 2002 to be the flag bearer for the opening ceremonies at Salt Lake City. At Salt Lake, Doan won the gold medal in the 500 m just as she had in 1998 at Nagano. She managed a 10th-place finish in the 1000 m. Shortly after, she defended her world championship in the 500 m.
Doan officially announced her retirement from competition in 2003. She continues her involvement in speed skating, the Olympic movement and public life through her work as a broadcaster with the CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, a liaison for the 2010 Whistler Games and as a board member the Canadian Sport Centre in Calgary and the Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA). She is involved in a number of philanthropic organizations including Right to Play, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada. In 2005, Doan was inducted into CANADA'S SPORTS HALL OF FAME, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and was made an Officer of the ORDER OF CANADA. She has also been granted honorary doctorates from the UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY, the UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN and the UNIVERSITY OF REGINA. In 2009 she and fellow Olympian Simon WHITFIELD were the first to carry the 2010 Olympic torch in Canada.