Two-time gold medallist Catriona Le May Doan speaks about sports and faith at Mac
Speed skater Catriona Le May Doan is one of the most recognizable figures in Canadian sports. She is the only Canadian athlete, male or female, winter or summer, to defend a gold medal in two straight Olympic games, a feat that she accomplished between 1998 in Nagano and Salt Lake City in 2002. Le May Doan has also enjoyed a career after sports as a broadcaster for the CBC during their coverage of the Olympics and has been honoured as a national icon, receiving the Order of Canada for her numerous contributions.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, Catriona visited the McMaster campus as part of an annual speakers series entitled “Love Every Inch,” hosted by the McMaster Christian Reformed Campus Ministry.
“She is a very real person, she has worked very hard at her profession and we are excited to learn about it,” said organizer Michael Fallon, a Christian Reform minister at McMaster Chaplaincy Office.
“We wanted to hear about the challenges, and we also wanted to hear about the joys and the triumphs of being an athlete of her calibre. She spoke very truthfully, it was very encouraging and very inspiring,” he continued.
The purpose of Le May Doan’s appearance was to speak about the intersection of faith and sports.
“No one is perfect and my faith helped me figure that out. I spent so much time trying to have the perfect race, and that isn’t possible,” said the three-time Olympic medalist. One of the things that made Le May Doan’s speech so inspiring is how she spoke about imperfection.
“She’s not perfect, none of us are. She spoke about her failures. What she did, whether she won a gold medal or no medal at all, was the same in the eyes of her faith and that is a large part of the message,” said Fallon.
The evening’s event was held in CIBC Hall and afterwards, Le May Doan gave a general address to McMaster students in Gilmour Hall.
Her underlying message of “I can do all things,” which also served as her opening remark, tied together the idea of how faith can help athletes in their careers.