People

People

BARBARA WICKENS December 8 1997
People

People

BARBARA WICKENS December 8 1997

People

BARBARA WICKENS

When Catriona LeMay Doan won back-to-back 500-m races at a World Cup speed-skating competition in Calgary last month, she did more than just pocket a couple of gold medals. Her achievement—she set a world record in the opening race—underscores her status as the favorite heading into the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, next February. The 26-year-old from Saskatoon was no slouch in the 1,000-m event, either: she finished second to Chris Witty of the United States. But it was LeMay Doan’s 500-m performance that created a stir among her competitors. Her time of 37.9 seconds put her

more than half a second—an eternity by skating’s standards—ahead of the next-best finish, a 38.57 clocked by Sabine Volker of Germany. “The rest of the world is playing catch-up with Catriona,” Witty said, “especially in the 500.” It was the first time ever that a woman had beaten 38 seconds in the event, and it stunned the skater herself. “I am still in shock,” LeMay Doan said.

She is hardly an overnight sensation. LeMay Doan has won World Cup medals in each of the past five seasons and finished second in the 500 at the 1997 world championships in Hamar, Norway. She credits the improved speed to better training and the new clap skates that most skaters have switched to this season—they have hinged blades and are more efficient than the traditional fixed-blade

skates. Just as important is the support and camaraderie of an increasingly powerful Canadian team. Among its members: 1994 Olympic silver medallist Susan Auch of Winnipeg, four-time World Cup winner Neal Marshall of Coquitlam, B.C., and Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., who won two 500-m gold medals last month in Calgary. “People are always saying we’ll never make the millions that some athletes make,” LeMay Doan says. “But it’s something we love to do, and it’s a choice we all make.” LeMay Doan appears to have made the right choice.

Classic doo-wop

Eleven is a significant number for The Nylons: it represents both the number of albums the Torontobased quartet has released and the number of members who have passed through its ranks during its 18-year history. The latest version of the a cappella group features Arnold Robinson, Garth Mosbaugh, Mark Cassius and co-founder Claude Morrison. On their buoyant new al-

bum, Fabric of Life, they sing such well-known songs as Ain’t No Sunshine and a rhythm and blues-style rendition of The Beatles’ Let It Be. According to Morrison, the group’s classic doo-wop style and intricate harmonies transcend the revolving-door nature of the act. “We’ve always had the philosophy that the group is bigger than any one individual,” he says. “Lots of people can sing the heck out of a lead vocal, but we look for singers who can blend right into the group.”

An anchor away

Canadian TV journalist Kevin Newman is exactly where he wants to be. After sitting in for the past six months as news anchor for ABC News, Newman got his big story last week: the brass at ABC officially appointed him news anchor of Good Morning America. Jokes the Toronto-born broadcaster and six-year CBC veteran: “The contract lasts till they get sick of me, or until I screw up.” Newman, 38, who is married and has two children, a boy, 11, and a girl, 8, joined New York City-based ABC News as a correspondent and

co-anchor in 1994. Three years later, Newman, who is also a veteran of seven years with Global and two with CTV, still gets teased about his Canadianisms. Last week, for instance, the show’s producers corrected him for saying that travellers were “lining up” at airports, instead of employing the U.S. usage “in line.” Notes Newman: “In the States, only criminals get in lineups.” When he learns the vernacular, Newman may be ready to take on the mantle of Canada’s number 1 news export, Peter Jennings, who has held ABC’s plum anchoring spot on World News Tonight since 1983.