Catriona Le May Doan took her place in the Canadian Olympic history books at Salt Lake City 2002 where she became the first Canadian athlete to successfully defend an Olympic gold medal in an individual event.
Le May Doan had been a double medallist four years earlier at Nagano 1998, winning 500m gold in Olympic record time to share the podium with silver medallist teammate Susan Auch. Le May Doan then added a bronze medal in the 1000m and was given the honour of carrying the Canadian flag at the Closing Ceremony.
Le May Doan was the world’s dominant female sprinter of the 1997-98 season. In November 1997 she became the first woman to break the 38-second barrier in the 500m, skating it in 37.90 seconds in Calgary. She lowered the mark five more times over the next four years, eventually setting the record at 37.22 seconds in December 2001, which stood until March 2007. At the 1998 World Single Distances Championships, she won gold in the 500m and silver in the 1000m. She was also crowned World Sprint Champion and was the overall World Cup champion in the 500m and 1000m.
That dominance continued through the next quadrennial, as she won the 500m world title in 1999 and 2001 to go with a bronze medal in 2000.
With her impressive resume, Le May Doan was named Canadian flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony at Salt Lake City 2002, her fourth Olympic Games. She skated to another Olympic record – one that would not be broken until Sochi 2014 – to win her second straight gold medal in the 500m. She was named the 2002 recipient of the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s Athlete of the Year and earned her third career (1998, 2001, 2002) Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canadian Female Athlete of the Year.
Since her retirement from speed skating, Le May Doan has been heavily involved in the community through such organizations as The Saskatoon Foundation and the Catriona Le May Doan Endowment for Children and Youth. She is also an ambassador for the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada, Right to Play and Special Olympics Canada. She served on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and is a Board member of the Canada Games Council and the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary.
Le May Doan has been part of the broadcast team at five Olympic Games, earning a Gemini for Best Sports Analyst for her speed skating work at Vancouver 2010. She has received three honourary degrees from the University of Calgary, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina, giving the convocation speech to their graduating classes. Le May Doan was inducted to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Le May Doan lives in Calgary with her husband Bart and their two children, Greta and Easton. On June 1, 2017 she was announced as the Lead, Athlete Mentor for the Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018.
|1992 Albertville||Speed Skating - Long Track||1,000m - Women||31|
|1992 Albertville||Speed Skating - Long Track||500m - Women||14|
|1994 Lillehammer||Speed Skating - Long Track||1,000m - Women||19|
|1994 Lillehammer||Speed Skating - Long Track||1,500m - Women||17|
|1994 Lillehammer||Speed Skating - Long Track||500m - Women||33|
|1998 Nagano||Speed Skating - Long Track||1,000m - Women||Bronze|
|1998 Nagano||Speed Skating - Long Track||1,500m - Women||13|
|1998 Nagano||Speed Skating - Long Track||500m - Women||Gold|
|2002 Salt Lake City||Speed Skating - Long Track||1,000m - Women||9|
|2002 Salt Lake City||Speed Skating - Long Track||500m - Women||Gold|