Canada's Speed Skating Great Announces Retirement

Olympic gold medallist Catriona Le May Doan and Speed Skating Canada announced today that she was retiring from the national team and active competition.

Le May Doan, of Saskatoon, joined the senior national team in 1988 and became one of speed skating’s greatest Champions. In Salt Lake City she became the only Canadian athlete to successfully defend an individual Olympic title, winning gold in the 500m in Nagano and Salt Lake City.

“As athletes we are always forced to plan ahead, so I guess I had a plan to retire eventually,” said Le May Doan.

“The last 3 or 4 months, as I traveled in Europe on the World Cup circuit, it hit me a little more, as I saw how many people supported me and how people wanted to celebrate with me if this was my last competition.

In a way, this kind of confirmed for me, that regardless of my results, people are proud of what I’ve accomplished and happy with me.

You do it for yourself and yet you also want people around you and the people in your country to be proud of you. So, in a way, it kind of confirmed again that I’ve accomplished what I’ve dreamed of accomplishing - now maybe is the time for the next step.”

Le May Doan has a number of speaking engagements scheduled for the next few months and hopes to be more involved with a number of additional opportunities.

During her career she finished first overall in the World Cup 500m and world sprint championships 500m four times. She twice won the world sprint championships overall title and has 34 World Cup victories placing her fourth overall on the all-time winners list.

She has set eight world records in the 500m, breaking her own record on seven occasions. She is the Olympic record holder in the 500m and is also the current Canadian record holder in the 1000-metres.

She was twice named Canadian Press Athlete of the Year and also received the Lou Marsh award.

Director General of Speed Skating Canada, Mr. Jean Dupré, expressed the feelings of many Canadians when he stated, “On or off the ice, Catriona has been an inspiration for all of us.”

“With her many podium successes and her charisma, she has contributed to the current successes and growth of Speed Skating in Canada. She has inspired many young Canadians by her athletic and personal achievements as well as her sportsmanship.

Thank you Catriona for all the good times and we wish you continued success.

Our challenge as a national sport organization will now be to find a way to retain Catriona’s involvement in our sport as an ambassador, as a spokesperson or a sport person.”

Speed Skating Canada is the national governing body responsible for the advancement and growth of speed skating in Canada.