Home Heritage Sport Catriona LeMay Doan: speed skater

Catriona LeMay Doan: speed skater

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catriona_lemay_doan_copyAFTER 23 years of competitive speed skating in which she was a world no.1, the grand-daughter of a Helensburgh chemist, Catriona LeMay Doan, retired from the sport in 2006.

Many Helensburgh people remember Arthur LeMay’s shop, and it came as quite a surprise to learn that Catriona had become one of Canada's most successful and most popular athletes.

Known as 'The Cat', she won the hearts of all Canadians with her infectious smile, warmth, and her commitment to excellence, and she is the only individual Canadian to win back to back Olympic gold medals, in Japan and then Canada.

In an incredible 2002 season, she captured the World, Olympic and World Cup Championship titles in the 500m distance. She broke her world record in the 500m with a time of 37.22 on December 9 2001 at the World Cup race in the Olympic Oval in Calgary, and the record still stands today. She dominated at this distance with a 20-race victory streak over two seasons.

Born in Saskatoon on December 23 1970, Catriona moved to Calgary at the age of 17 and became a member of the Canadian speed skating team in 1988.

Her speed skating career included three Olympic medals, numerous World Championship and World Cup titles, and many awards and honours including the 2002 Lou Marsh Award as Canada's outstanding athlete. She is also a three-time recipient (1998, 2001, 2002) of the Canadian Female Athlete of the Year award.

"Speed Skating has been a blessing in my life. It has presented me with memorable experiences and it has taught me lessons that I will carry throughout life," she said when she retired.

"It is now time to move on to new challenges and opportunities, and I believe I have fulfilled my dreams and aspirations in competitive speed skating."

She is still involved with speed skating along with her other interests including motivational speaking and community and charity work. Television broadcasting is also a part of her new life.

She is a talented motivational speaker. She is an articulate, engaging and bilingual presenter, exploring with her audiences the method of achieving personal excellence while challenging and motivating people to achieve their full potential.

In June 2002, Catriona was presented with an honorary degree from the University of Calgary, the city where she lives with her husband Bart.

Catriona's father Iain, a former Glasgow Academy pupil who is now a retired university professor (see Expert on metals in the People section of this website), is from Cardross, and her mother Shona was born in Wick and brought up in Glasgow.

Iain's father Arthur, who lived in Cardross before retiring to near Lochgilphead, Argyll, was a chemist and optician with premises in West Clyde Street, Helensburgh.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:51 )  

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