Canadian Olympic Hero Catriona Le May Doan Named Honourary Coach of Special Olympics Team Canada

Olympic & World Champion Speed Skater to cheer on Canada's athletes at 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea

TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Olympic and World Champion Speed Skater Catriona Le May Doan has been named Honourary Coach of Canada's Special Olympics team, currently preparing to compete at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea in January.

"I have been fortunate to win many titles, but this one is very, very close to my heart," said Le May Doan, "I just got back from visiting with Special Olympics Team Canada's snowshoeing, alpine and cross-country ski teams at their training camp in Canmore, Alberta, and I'm every bit as excited about the upcoming Special Olympics World Winter Games as they are!"

"Catriona has been a stalwart supporter of Special Olympics Canada for many years, mentoring and inspiring our athletes to achieve their true potential.  To have her as our Honourary Coach is an absolutely perfect fit," said Sharon Bollenbach, Senior Vice President, Sport & Strategic Initiatives, Special Olympics Canada.

Le May Doan will be part of the Special Olympics Team Canada send-off in Vancouver on January 24, and will travel to South Korea for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang.

The games run from January 29 to February 5, and will be the world's largest sporting event in 2013 and second only in size to the Olympic Games.  Special Olympics Canada is sending a 146 member contingent of athletes, coaches and mission staff.  Special Olympics Team Canada athletes will compete in alpine and cross-country skiing, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing and speed skating.

ABOUT CATRIONA LE MAY DOAN

Catriona Le May Doan was the fastest woman on ice. After carrying the Canadian flag into the 2002 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremonies (her fourth Olympics), Catriona defended her Olympic title with a Gold medal performance in the 500 metre event, becoming the only Canadian individual to defend a gold medal at any Olympic Games. She held the World Record in the 500m for 10 years and still currently holds the Olympic Record. During her career Catriona broke 13 World Records. Catriona served as the colour commentator for the CTV television broadcast of long track speed skating at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, which earned her a Gemini for Best Sports Analyst and was co-host of CTV's Olympic Morning at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Catriona is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS CANADA

Established in 1969, the Canadian chapter of this international movement is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport. Operating out of sport clubs in all Canadian provinces and territories, except Nunavut, this grassroots movement reaches beyond the sphere of sports to empower individuals, change attitudes and build communities. From two-year-olds to mature adults, more than 35,000 children, youth and adults with an intellectual disability are registered in Special Olympics year-round programs across Canada, and they are supported by more than 17,100 volunteers, including more than 13,500 trained coaches.

For more information, visit www.specialolympics.ca or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter (@SpecialOCanada).

SOURCE: Special Olympics Canada

For further information:

Media Contacts:

Veritas Communications
Cayley Kochel
Veritas Communications
416 955 4572
kochel@veritascanada.com

Special Olympics Canada
Mary-Margaret Jones
Marketing and Public Relations
Special Olympics Canada
416 927 9050 ext. 4383
416-909-5911
mmjones@specialolympics.ca