Catriona Le May Doan Crowns Winner of Second Annual ING Speed Skating Challenge

– Mississauga’s Scott MacHattie named Canada’s Best Speed Skating Story –

After five weeks and over 35,000 online votes from across the country, the title of Canada’s Best Speed Skating Story was awarded to Scott MacHattie for his story entitled, “Speed Skating – The Inclusive Sport,” at a gala evening hosted by Catriona Le May Doan.

Overwhelmed by the appreciation of the audience, Scott made his way up to the stage with his coach Kelly Brennan close behind to accept his award from Catriona.

With over 50 members of Canada’s national speed skating team in attendance, including Guest Judges Jeremy Wotherspoon and Jessica Gregg along with last year’s winner Alastair Starke, the second annual ING Video Awards Party was an opportunity to bring Canada’s best speed skaters together with Canada’s best speed skating stories.

“When we began the search for Canada’s best speed skating story, the goal was to provide young skaters from across the country with a voice – a way of building a speed skating community by sharing their love for the sport. I can see why Scott’s story resonated with Canadians – he’s an inspiring young athlete with Down Syndrome who has become a real trail blazer in the sport of speed skating,” said Catriona.

Following the announcement, World Champion speed skater Jeremy Wotherspoon, who sat beside Scott during the awards party, commented on Scott’s winning story.

“I really enjoyed Scott’s video. His message that speed skating is an inclusive sport proves anyone of any age or ability can enjoy speed skating, even at the competitive level, like he has. He’s a great kid and I’m proud of him.”

Scott took home prizes from Timex, General Mills, Bell and Canon along with a brand new pair of speed skates, while his coach Kelly Brennan accepted a $5,000 cheque from ING for Scott’s home club, the Oakville Speed Skating Association.

Tori Spence and her story, “Owen’s Oval,” about her late father’s work to create a speed skating legacy in Kamloops was also a deserving finalist and garnered Runner-Up recognition.

“Tori was deserving of the title as well. The simplicity of her story about her father’s vision – seeing inukshuks and long track ovals in BC’s future long before the Olympics – was deeply moving,” said Catriona. “It represents the best of what the sport of speed skating can do for a community.”

Catriona Le May Doan also announced the recipient of her Most Inspirational Story.

“Brigitte Patenaude’s story, ‘Age is Just a Number,’ really shows that you’re never too old to skate fast and turn left,” added Catriona.

The final ING Speed Skating Challenge award winners are now online at www.INGSpeedSkatingChallenge.com.

Media Interviews: Interviews are available upon request and video stories are available in original format for editorial use.

MEET THE AWARD WINNERS

Canada’s Best Speed Skating Story: Scott MacHattie
• Club: Oakville Speed Skating Association
• Story title: Speed Skating – The Inclusive Sport
• This son, brother, teammate and friend has a truly inspiring story to share with Canada in “Speed Skating – The Inclusive Sport.” Scott is an athlete with Down Syndrome and his story demonstrates that speed skating is one of the true inclusive sports.

Runner-up: Tori Spence
• Club: Kamloops River City Racers Speed Skating Club
• Story title: Owen’s Oval
• Her video, “Owen’s Oval,” is about her father: a man with a vision, seeing inukshuks and long track ovals in BC’s future well before the 2010 Games were on their way. His inspiring work to create a speed skating legacy in his community will never be forgotten.

Catriona’s Most Inspirational: Brigitte Patenaude
• Club: Ottawa Pacers Speed Speed Skating Club
• Story title: Age is Just a Number
• She may have had a late entry into the sport of speed skating, but Brigitte has experienced just as much fun and comraderie during her short time in the sport, proving that “Age is Just a Number.”

ING SPEED SKATING CHALLENGE PRIZING

Winner, ING Speed Skating Challenge:
Title of Canada’s Best Speed Skating Story
All Expenses Paid Trip for 3 to ING Video Awards Party in Calgary, Alberta
$5,000 Donation to Home Speed Skating Club
New Pair of Speed Skates
Canon Digital Camera
Cheerios Prize Package
Timex Ironman Triathlon Digital Heart Rate Monitor

Runner-up, ING Speed Skating Challenge:
All Expenses Paid Trip for 3 to ING Video Awards Party in Calgary, Alberta
$2,500 Donation to Home Speed Skating Club
Canon Digital Camera
Cheerios Prize Package
Timex Ironman Triathlon Digital Heart Rate Monitor

Catriona’s Most Inspirational Award:
All Expenses Paid Trip for 3 to ING Video Awards Party in Calgary, Alberta
$1,000 Donation to Home Speed Skating Club
Bell Prize Package
Canon Digital Camera
Cheerios Prize Package
Timex Ironman Triathlon Digital Heart Rate Monitor

Additional prizes are awarded to the Top 16, 8 and 4 respectively.