Search

Scorecard

Scorecard

Love, Canadian Style
Another golden Valentine's Day for Catriona LeMay Doan?

This is an article from the Feb. 14, 2002 issue

Canadian speed skater Catriona LeMay Doan and her husband, Bart,
have a tradition during her races. Each time Catriona skates,
she listens for Bart's voice halfway down the backstraight.
"He's my marker," Catriona says. "I pass Bart, and I know I'm
on." Having set the last six world records at 500 meters, the
defending world and Olympic champ--who stands first after
yesterday's preliminaries--should be able to keep another
tradition, one she started on Feb. 14 in Nagano: celebrating
with Bart after winning a gold medal on Valentine's Day.

In 1990, two years after Catriona moved to Calgary, Bart, a local
rodeo star who is never far from his cowboy hat, got a job as an
ice technician at the Olympic Oval there, a position he still
holds. If you go by sporting folklore, he is the luckiest guy in
Canada, the quintessential Everyman who won the heart of a
princess by waving at her from atop a Zamboni. Bart recalls their
first meeting: "I drove by, and she yelled, 'Hey, turn the radio
up.' I thought, Wow, she actually talked to me."

He waited for months to ask her out on a date, to Nick's
Steakhouse. Catriona showed up with two girlfriends who chatted
and laughed through the meal as Bart became increasingly tense
and tongue-tied. "I thought, O.K., that was a disaster. I'm
ruined." Turns out it was just the start. On New Year's Day in
1995 Bart proposed by leaving a ring on a Christmas-tree branch.
His wife has since become a national heroine, known for her
toothpaste-ad smile, squeaky-clean image and classic Canadian
modesty. Her face adorns cereal boxes and magazine covers
nationwide. Bart recalls the day in 1998 when Wayne Gretzky gave
Catriona a peck on the cheek after she dropped a ceremonial puck
at a game in Toronto. "I was so jealous," Bart says with a
straight face. "When I met Wayne Gretzky, all he did was shake my
hand."

Mindful that Catriona still has to skate the 1,000 meters on
Sunday, Bart says he has no elaborate plans for a Valentine's
surprise tonight, except for a meal of local Angus beef and a
bouquet at the table. "No fanfare," he says. "Just time with
each other. That's perfect." --Brian Cazeneuve

Silky Smooth

They swooped into Park City with their sleek black unitards and
swishing blonde ponytails and, as usual, took care of business:
Germany's Sylke Otto, the 32-year-old world champion, and Silke
Kraushaar, the 31-year-old 1998 gold medalist, finished first and
third in yesterday's women's luge finals. Their teammate, Barbara
Niedernhuber, Nagano's silver medalist, split the duo to take
second again and complete a German sweep.

The smooth-sliding Sylke and Silke may be homonymous, but they're
hardly homogenous. Sylke's uncanny sled control makes her the
world's best slider, while Silke has the most explosive start in
the business. Sylke is known for staying composed under pressure;
Silke is the more emotional of the two. Chemnitz native Sylke has
a poodle; Silke, who is from Sonneberg, has a Doberman.

Roommates on the World Cup circuit--"we're as close as teammates
can be," says Kraushaar--they're fierce rivals on the ice. "Our
competition starts in summer and goes through the season," says
Kraushaar, who has swapped the No. 1 world ranking with Otto for
the past three years.

They are carrying on a national tradition. Germans have won 24 of
the 33 Olympic women's luge medals awarded and have taken first
at every World Cup event since 1997. How have the Germans come to
so dominate luge? For one, the sport is accessible--Germany has
four luge tracks. (The U.S. has two.) Plus, national team lugers
receive jobs from the government, which helps fund the sport.

When asked whether Silke, Sylke and Niedernhuber are Germany's
best luge squad ever, coach Thomas Schwab laughs and says,
"We've got three better ones waiting at home for the next
Olympics." --Kelley King

The Style File

A certain "poor boy" is making one company very rich. Roots, the
Canadian apparel firm that outfitted the U.S. athletes, shipped
4,000 of the $19.95 patriot-blue berets (known as poor boys in
the trade) to Utah for the first week of the Games. By noon
Saturday, the day after the U.S. team beret (above) debuted at
the opening ceremonies, the shelves were bare. Just how hot are
the U.S. caps? When the two bedroom-sized Roots stores at The
Gateway in downtown Salt Lake City opened at 10 a.m. yesterday,
about 500 people, some of whom had queued up before dawn, stood
waiting for the latest shipment. Four factories in Canada are
working around the clock to catch up to the demand. "At the
Olympics it's a tradition to trade uniforms," says Nikki Stone,
a U.S. gold medalist in aerials in 1998. "The Americans wanted
to be the team that was highly sought after." Mission
accomplished. Stone turned down an offer of $200 for her beret.
--Ivan Maisel

For the record
Yesterday's winners, notable results and a look at the overall
standings

Finals

ALPINE
Men's Combined
[Gold]Kjetil Andre Aamodt NORWAY 3:17.56
[Silver]Bode Miller UNITED STATES 3:17.84
[Bronze]Benjamin Raich AUSTRIA 3:18.26

BIATHLON
Men's 10-km Sprint
[Gold]Ole Einar Bjoerndalen NORWAY 24:51.3
[Silver]Sven Fischer GERMANY 25:20.2
[Bronze]Wolfgang Perner AUSTRIA 25:44.4

Women's 7.5-km Sprint
[Gold]Kati Wilhelm GERMANY 20:41.4
[Silver]Uschi Disl GERMANY 20:57.0
[Bronze]Magdalena Forsberg SWEDEN 21:20.4

LUGE
Women's Singles
[Gold]Sylke Otto GERMANY 2:52.464
[Silver]Barbara Niedernhuber GERMANY 2:52.785
[Bronze]Silke Kraushaar GERMANY 2:52.865

SKI JUMPING
Individual K120
[Gold]Simon Ammann SWITZERLAND 281.4
[Silver]Adam Malysz POLAND 269.7
[Bronze]Matti Hautamaeki FINLAND 256.0

SHORT-TRACK SPEED SKATING
Women's 1,500
[Gold]Ko Gi Hyun SOUTH KOREA 2:31.581
[Silver]Choi Eun Kyung SOUTH KOREA 2:31.610
[Bronze]Evgenia Radanova BULGARIA 2:31.723

Other News

CURLING
The U.S. men dropped to 1-2 after a 9-8 loss to Germany (3-0) at
The Ice Sheet at Ogden.

SKATEGATE
Didier Gailhaguet, head of the French Olympic team, said late
last night that the French judge in Monday's pairs free skate
was pressured to "act in a certain way" before she voted to give
the gold to the Russians. Gailhaguet said, however, that "there
was no collusion with the East European nations." The IOC has
told the ISU to move quickly on the dispute.

The Medal Stand
LEADERS TOTAL

Germany 4 6 2 12
United States 3 5 2 10
Austria 1 1 7 9
Norway 5 3 0 8
Russia 1 2 2 5
Finland 2 1 1 4
Italy 2 1 0 3
Switzerland 2 0 1 3
France 1 1 1 3
The Netherlands 1 1 0 2
South Korea 1 1 0 2
Estonia 1 0 1 2
Canada 0 1 1 2
Japan 0 1 1 2
Poland 0 1 1 2
Sweden 0 0 2 2
Spain 1 0 0 1
Bulgaria 0 0 1 1
China 0 0 1 1
Czech Republic 0 0 1 1
Kazakhstan 0 0 0 0

Where are they now?

VLADISLAV TRETIAK Hockey
OLYMPIC HIGHLIGHTS: Gold medal goalie in 1972, 1976 and 1984

During the six weeks each summer that Tretiak runs goalie camps
in Canada and the U.S., the students range from elementary
schoolers to NHLers to elementary schoolers on their way to
becoming NHLers. An example of the last group would be Canadian
Olympian Martin Brodeur, with whom Tretiak began working when
Brodeur was 11. As goaltending consultant for the Chicago
Blackhawks, a position he has held for 11 years, Tretiak had
such influence on former Hawks netminder Ed Belfour that Belfour
began wearing Tretiak's number 20 in 1997 and has done so ever
since. Tretiak, 49, earned his revered stature with three
Olympic golds and 10 world championships, but he is best
remembered for being pulled before the start of the second
period during his team's 4-3 loss to the U.S. at the 1980 Games
in Lake Placid. "For me it was shock, shock, shock," says
Tretiak, who splits his time between Chicago and Moscow. "I
never sat on the bench in a big game. My team was thinking, Oh,
students play against us." Rebounding, Tretiak would later be
named MVP of the '81 Canada Cup and the '83 worlds, but he saved
his best for his final big tournament, the '84 Olympics, when he
had shutouts against medal-round foes Czechoslovakia and Canada.
"Every game I played after 1980," he says, "I wanted to show the
coach made a mistake." In 1989 Tretiak took his place alongside
North American stars in the Hockey Hall of Fame. "My federation
never let me play in the NHL," Tretiak says. "To be elected was
like a big present." --Brian Cazeneuve

COLOR PHOTO: SIMON BRUTY The U.S.'s Bode Miller looms large in the start house before swooping to silver in the combined [T of C]COLOR PHOTO: JERRY LAMPEN/REUTERS (LEMAY DOAN) Icecapades: The Zamboni driver won the heart of the princess.COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIERCOLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER Ammann was da man on the large hill, taking his second gold.COLOR PHOTO: TONY TRIOLO (1976) Tretiak (above, in '76), once the anchor of the U.S.S.R. defense, is now a goalie consultant in the U.S.COLOR PHOTO: TODD ROSENBERG [See caption above]
They Said It
"Women like it because it's the only time you see a guy pushing
a broom."
--JAY LENO on curling