CANOE NAGANO '98 ISP DIRECTORY
Susan Auch - Long Track Speed Skating
Susan Auch, an 11-year national team member, is the best female long track
speed skater ever produced in Canada. The highlight of her career was an
Olympic silver medal in the 500 metres at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer.
The following season she established the Canadian 500 record at a
scorching 38.94 seconds, becoming only the second woman in the world to
crack the 39 second barrier. She also achieved a career-long goal in March
1995 defeating five-time Olympic champion Bonnie Blair of the U.S., to win
her first World Cup race. She was named Canada's female athlete of the
year in 1995.
During the 1995-96 season Auch, best known for her rocket-launching starts,
began to experience discomfort with her left knee but still placed fourth
in the World Cup standings. But it was the first season she did not
improve. She underwent surgery the following summer and only raced half a
season last winter. Auch skated faster with every race after she returned
to competition in January. "The knee responded better than I thought,"
said Auch, who'll turn 32 in March. "I feel I was almost back to normal
particularly with my starts. Last year my goal was simply to get as many
good races in as possible. I think I can be better than ever."
Nagano will be Auch's fourth Olympic Games. She raced in short track at
the 1988 Calgary Games and was sixth in the 500 long track event in 1992 at