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Calgary's Catriona Le May Doan named Canada’s 2022 Olympic chef de mission

Last Updated Nov 17, 2020 at 12:48 pm MST

Catriona Le May Doan holds Olympic medals as she poses in Canmore, Alberta on November 1, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / HO-Leah Hennel / Team Canada)

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Catriona Le May Doan has been named chef de mission for Team Canada at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

As Team Canada’s chef de mission, the former long track speed skater will represent Team Canada as a spokesperson in the lead up to and during the Olympic Winter Games, as well as serve as a mentor to the athletes competing in the Games.

“After serving as Lead Athlete Mentor for PyeongChang 2018, I knew that I wanted to help the team in 2022 live out their Olympic dreams in whatever way I could,” said Le May Doan said in a statement. “I hope that through my experiences as an athlete, broadcaster, and Mission Team member, I can help all of Team Canada be their very best on that international stage.

“I know that the athletes are facing extreme challenges with the unknown of what is ahead, which has affected training, racing, and ‘normal’ prep. However, as every athlete is goal-oriented, I encourage them to stay focused, reach out for any help needed, but continue to keep in mind their final goal — performing at their very best at Beijing 2022.”

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Le May Doan represented Canada at four Olympic Games, winning the gold medal in the 500-metre race in Nagano 1998 and then becoming the first Canadian to defend a gold medal in an individual event when she won it again in Salt Lake City 2002. Le May Doan also won a bronze medal in the 1,000-metre race in Nagano and competed in Albertville 1992 and Lillehammer 1994. She was the flag bearer for Canada twice, at the Nagano 1998 closing ceremony and the Salt Lake City 2002 opening ceremony.

After retiring, Le May Doan stayed involved by both broadcasting Olympics and serving on various committees promoting sport across Canada. That includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee, as a Vice-Chair of Canada Games Council and as a board member of Special Olympics Canada, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, and Winsport.

“Catriona has huge credibility and respect in the sport and broader community is an inspiring leader and is passionate about sport and the Olympic movement. Already a tremendous mentor to many athletes, she will be a great leader for Team Canada in Beijing 2022 as Chef de Mission,” Canadian Olympic Committee President Tricia Smith said in a statement. “Between her vast experience in the world of sport, her integrity and the way she consistently lives the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship, we are all extremely fortunate and excited to have Catriona as Chef for Beijing 2022.”

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Beijing will become the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games when it does so, beginning Feb. 4, 2022.

The 2022 Winter Games will feature 109 events across seven sports, including seven new events: women’s monobob, freestyle skiing big air (men’s and women’s), and mixed team events in short track speed skating, ski jumping, freestyle skiing aerials and snowboard cross. The Beijing 2022 Olympics are also expected to be the most gender-balanced Olympic Winter Games in history, with more than 45 per cent of the athletes being women.

The 49-year-old from Saskatoon lives in Calgary and is the chief executive officer of Sport Calgary.