When Canadian speed skater Catriona Le May Doan carried the Maple Leaf into the Salt Lake City arena at the opening of the XIX Winter Olympic Games, she carried with her the hopes and dreams of a nation. The Canadian speed queen, famous for her 1,000-watt smile, had so dominated the 500-metre sprints during recent years that she was known as the Fastest Woman in the World. But Le May Doan was battling a famous jinx – the curse of the flag-bearer. In 2002, the jinx was broken, and Catriona thrilled Canadians at home and in Salt Lake City when she won the 500 metre race.
In Going For Gold, Catriona tells the story of her life with assistance from Calgary writer Ken McGoogan. Born and raised in Saskatoon, by age 15 she already was a track star provincially. At 18, she joined Canada’s Olympic Team and began competing internationally. Then, at the Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994, with experts predicting that she would reach the podium, the 23-year-old athlete crashed in her best event. She describes her dark night of the soul, and how, eventually, she emerged to skate faster than ever – faster than any other woman has ever skated.
She writes of becoming a committed Christian and how that has changed her; of meeting and marrying Bart Doan, a black-hatted rodeo cowboy who wrestles steers, coaches hockey, and drives a Zamboni at the Calgary Olympic Oval. She writes of winning world cup races and world championships and Olympic gold medals, of driving world records down and down and down again to levels undreamed of even a few years ago.
Catriona Le May Doan will be competing at the ISU world sprint championships in Calgary in January 2003 and, perhaps has her swan song at the world world championships in Berlin, Germany, in March 2003. A true star, Catriona values all these stunning accomplishments less than the letters she receives from young Canadians who look to her as a role model.
From the Hardcover edition.