If you’ve watched or participated in speed skating at the 2018 Manitoba Games you might have seen, if not heard the voice of, one of Canada’s greatest speed skaters.
Susan Auch, who currently serves as the CEO of Speed Skating Canada, has been in Thompson wearing a few different hats. Her badge says official, but she’s also been announcing for some races and cheering on her twin daughters who are competing in short track.
Auch competed in multiple Olympic games at both short and long track, taking home silver medals in 1994 and 1998 in the 500m, and a bronze in 1988 in the 3000m relay. She has since been inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (2003), the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame (2010) and the Canada Sports Hall of Fame (2015).
When it comes to being a mother at the games, Auch said that it’s been an amazing learning experience for her daughters, and she isn’t nervous to see them compete like many parents are. One of her twin daughters has been to Quebec for a competition this year, so she said it was nice to be able to get the multi-sport experience here in her home province.
Auch said that it’s great to see speed skating back at a multi-sport event like the Manitoba Games, as speed skaters in the province need the experience of events like this to prepare them for Canada Games, and potentially the Olympics. She said it means something for the skaters to be taking part in this type of event, where they deal with the distractions they’ll be facing later on in their careers, like watching other sports and staying in villages with other athletes.
Auch said that one of the best things about multi-sport games is that the participants are constantly learning from other athletes and learning about other sports they may not be involved with, but might take in while they’re cheering on teammates. She added that it’s about the kids learning to get along with their teammates.
She also added that everyone participating should realize the unique opportunity they have to watch other athletes in other sports while they’re here in Thompson. Early in her career, she was inspired by a teammate in 1994 who won a medal, which made her believe that she could win one herself - and the rest is history.