Susan Auch began speed skating at the age of nine on the Sargent Park Oval that now bears her name. She earned a spot on the short track team and won two gold medals and a silver.
Auch won the bronze medal in the 500 metres at the 1985 World Short Track Championships and added gold, silver and bronze medals at the World University Games that year. She added gold medals in the 3,000m relay at the 1986 and 1988 World Short Track Championships and capped things off with a bronze in the 3000m relay at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary where short track speed skating was introduced as a demonstration sport.
Auch made the switch to long track in 1988. Thus began a 13-year relationship with the national team. In 1994, everything came together for Auch in her specialty: the 500 metres sprint. She finished third overall in the World Cup 500 metres standings, won the silver at the World Championships and capped things off with the silver at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Auch won three Manitoba Female Athlete of the Year from the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.
In 1995 Auch and American speed skating superstar Bonnie Blair chased each other around the globe. The rivalry brought out the best in both skaters with Auch finishing second in the World Cup standings and picking up bronze and silver medals at the World Sprint Championships en route to winning the Bobbie Rosenfeld Trophy as Canadian Press Female Athlete of the Year.
“Bonnie is a great competitor and we had such a great competition between us,” said Auch, who beat Blair in the World Cup Final in Hamar, Norway.
In 1998, she added a second Olympic silver medal to her collection in the 500 metres at the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. She came back in 2000 and qualified for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, her fifth and final Olympics.
b. March 1, 1966