Catriona LeMay Doan
She's one of the fastest women on skates and the pride of a nation. Flying across the 500m finish line in a record 38.21 seconds, Catriona LeMay Doan thrilled everyone with her gold metal skate at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. And just 5 days later she did it again, wining a bronze in the 100m.
Canadians were thrilled. "Sometimes it'll hit me wow, I did that," she says. When I meet people who have that reaction, I think, it's not a big deal really.' I'm the same person
I look at life as a process, and if I took the gold medal as the top, there'd be nowhere else to go."
This down-to-earth attitude keeps the Saskatchewan native grounded even when things don't go as expected. Back in the 1994 Winter Olympics, Catriona caught an edge and crashed in one of her races. Her hopes for a medal were dashed before millions of television viewers. "It was a definite career low," recalls Catriona. "But God used that experience as a big turning point in my life."
After that, Catriona found herself asking why. Even people at the top of her game didn't seem to be content. There had to be more to life. "I started looking for answers to my questions," she recalls. "I met with someone who explained what it means to have a relationship with God." Three weeks later, Catriona dedicated her life to Jesus.
And she hasn't looked back. "I've learned not to put so much pressure on myself for a certain result," says Catriona. "God has given me a peace about my life and my sport or any other part of my life, I'm never alone."
"Whatever happens," she adds, "I come off the ice saying, Thank you, God, for the talents and opportunities you've given me.'"
Catriona followed her gold-medal performance in Nagano with a victory at the 1998 World Sprint Championships in Calgary. She also set a world record in the 500m race - 37.55 seconds.
Yet, beyond these achievements, it's her relationship with God that gives her significance. "I do the work and the training, but I depend on God for it all," she adds. "I'm still the same person, no more and no less, because God is with me."
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