2019 in numbers
Olympic Gold Medalist Le May Doan Trains for New Challenge
Canadian speed-skating legend Catriona Le May Doan became chief executive officer of Sport Calgary in September 2019, a civic organization that supports the growth of amateur sports in the city.
To gear up for her new role, Le May Doan completed an Executive Development Course offered by the McGill Executive Institute. The course is part of a non-degree program, known as the “McGill Mini-MBA” series, offered in five cities across Canada.
For Catriona, the short-term, intensive course proved to be an ideal fit. “It was a great experience,” she said. “I was really impressed by the team from McGill.”
In 1998, at the Nagano Olympic Games, Catriona was a double medallist, winning a gold medal in the 500 metres in Olympic record time, and adding a bronze medal in the 1000 metres. She was given the honour of carrying the Canadian flag at the closing ceremony. Four years later, in Salt Lake City, she became the first Canadian athlete to successfully defend an Olympic gold medal in an individual event.
After retiring from competitive skating, in 2003, Le May Doan distinguished herself as a television commentator at subsequent Olympic games. Last year, she served as lead mentor for Canadian athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics that were held in PyeongChang. None of those roles, however, involved the kind of managerial responsibilities that will come into play in her new role as the head of Sport Calgary.
Catriona Le May Doan, alumna of the McGill Executive Institute
As she began to explore management-education options, Le May Doan considered pursuing a full-fledged MBA degree. But, with two children at home, that seemed like too much to pile on top of her work and family responsibilities. Then she heard about the McGill program.
“This sounded interesting, do-able timewise, financially do-able—all of those things,” she said. “It was the perfect combination.”
So it was that, last May, Le May Doan found herself in a cohort of participants from across the country who gathered at a hotel conference centre near the Calgary airport. Like all 30 participants, Le May Doan was assigned to a five-person team. “It was a really neat combination of people from all different areas of business and work,” she said. “It was challenging, for sure. It was a lot of work. But we had a ton of fun, a lot of laughs... I would really recommend this course for many people, with all different areas of expertise.”